Mas­ter Gar­den­ers of­fer spring land­scape ad­vice

Record Observer - - News -

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Mas­ter Gar­den­ers’ Bay-Wise Com­mit­tee an­nounced the launch of the group’s 2016 sea­son of free land­scape con­sul­ta­tions. Ad­vice on im­prov­ing your land­scape, while help­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and sav­ing time and money, is only a phone call away. Mas­ter Gar­den­ers are trained by the Univer­sity of Mary­land Ex­ten­sion Pro­gram to serve as knowl­edge­able vol­un­teers in the mid-shore re­gion. There is never a charge for their time or ad­vice.

Mas­ter Gar­den­ers know cre­at­ing an at­trac­tive yard is im­por­tant to many, but how it is cre­ated can make a huge dif­fer­ence in prop­erty value and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. Ac­cord­ing to the ex­ten­sion ser­vice, most homes in the Queen Anne’s County and Kent County area are within a half mile of a stream or other water­way flow­ing into the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay. “We all con­trib­ute — know­ingly or un­know­ingly — to runoff, seep­age, and air­borne pol­lu­tants that end up in the Bay. Home­own­ers liv­ing on the shore­line have a par­tic­u­larly di­rect re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­ser­va­tion land­scap­ing. Crit­i­cal aware­ness of the en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­fect of our land­scape choices and prac­tices un­der­lies the Mas­ter Gar­dener pro­gram,” said Liz Ham­mond, Mas­ter Gar­den­ers’ Bay Wise Com­mit­tee.

While Mas­ter Gar­den­ers are hor­ti­cul­tur­ists not land­scape de­sign­ers, teach­ers not in­stall­ers, they are ed­u­cated through the Univer­sity of Mary­land Ex­ten­sion to eval­u­ate prop­erty and make rec­om­men­da­tions. Mas­ter Gar­den­ers fo­cus on such is­sues as healthy lawn main­te­nance, ero­sion and drainage, in­sect and dis­ease con­trol, com­post­ing waste, and se­lect­ing na­tive plants and trees that en­hance prop­erty with min­i­mum up­keep. They can also as­sist in plan­ning for flower, fruit, and veg­etable beds that not only beau­tify yards, but pro­vide friendly habi­tat for na­tive wildlife in­clud­ing song­birds, but­ter­flies, bees, and hum­ming birds. Com­pli­men­tary Bay-Wise Award yard signs iden­tify prop­er­ties that demon­strate sound Bay-Wise prac­tices.

In 2015, Bay-Wise Mas­ter Gar­den­ers con­sulted on and awarded cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to nu­mer­ous prop­er­ties through­out Queen Anne’s and Kent Coun­ties. The group hopes to fur­ther that outreach this sea­son. To ini­ti­ate a con­sul­ta­tion on your prop­erty, call or email Queen Anne’s Mas­ter Gar­dener Co­or­di­na­tor Molly Gar­rett at 410-7580166 or mgar­ret1@umd. edu.

If res­i­dents de­sire a con­sul­ta­tion, a Bay-Wise team will sched­ule with the home­owner a con­ve­nient time to meet and eval­u­ate the prop­erty. A con­sul­ta­tion typ­i­cally takes one to two hours, de­pend­ing on the size and com­plex­ity of the yard. Mas­ter Gar­dener vis­its and ad­vice are free.

Univer­sity of Mary­land Ex­ten­sion pro­grams are open to all peo­ple and will not dis­crim­i­nate against any­one be­cause of race, age, sex, color, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, phys­i­cal or men­tal dis­abil­ity, re­li­gion, an­ces­try, or na­tional ori­gin, mar­i­tal sta­tus, ge­netic in­for­ma­tion, or po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion, or gen­der iden­tity and ex­pres­sion.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

The Cen­tre­ville Town Coun­cil presents Barton Ross with a cer­tifi­cate of ap­pre­ci­ate for his time de­voted to the town’s plan­ning com­mis­sion dur­ing the Thurs­day, March 24, town meet­ing.

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