QA Master Gardeners open free Bay-Wise Landscape Consultations
CENTREVILLE — Homes on the Eastern Shore are within a half mile of a stream or other waterway flowing into the Chesapeake Bay and creating an attractive yard is important to all of us, but how we do it can make a huge difference in property value and environmental impact, says University of Maryland Extension Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener Coordinator, Rachel Rhodes.
We all contribute, says Rhodes, whether knowingly or unknowingly — to runoff, seepage, and airborne pollutants that affect the health of the Bay. Critical awareness of the environmental effect of our landscape choices and practices underlies the University of Maryland Extension Bay-Wise Master Gardener program.
The Master Gardeners’ BayWise program kicks off the 2017 season of Bay-Wise landscape consultations with Master Gardeners — volunteers who are trained by the University of Maryland Extension — who will, on request, come to your home or business to evaluate your property. They can answer landscape and gardening questions and offer advice on sound environmental practices. This is a free service sponsored through the University of Mar yland’s Extension office. Home owners and businesses are encouraged to schedule a consultation.
Call or email the University of Maryland Extension Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener Coordinator, Rachel Rhodes, at 410-758-0166 or rjrhodes@umd. edu to initiate a consultation on your property. A Bay-Wise trained Master Gardener will then contact you to arrange a convenient date and time to meet with you at your property. A consultation usually takes about one to two hours, depending on the size and complexity of your yard.
Consultations focus on practices of healthy lawn maintenance, storm water management, insect and disease control, composting waste, and selecting native plants and trees that enhance your property with minimum upkeep. Rhodes encourages those interested to request advice about flower, fruit, and vegetable beds that beautify your yard and provide friendly habitat for wildlife like songbirds, butterflies, bees, and humming birds.
Complimentary Bay-Wise signs are given homeowners and businesses that demonstrate sound Bay-Wise practices. The University of Maryland Extension Master Gardeners hope to reach even more homeowners this season. Advice on improving your landscape, while helping the environment and saving time and money, is only a phone call away. For further information on the Bay-Wise Program and other environmentally sound practices, please visit www. extension.umd.edu/baywise or find them on Facebook at https:// www.facebook.com/Queen AnnesCountyMasterGardeners.
University of Mar yland 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.
From left, Master Gardener Jane Smith, Master Gardener Cindy Riegel, homeowner Laura Rocco, Master Gardener Betty McAtee, and Master Gardener Joyce Anderson. Rocco receives Bay-Wise certificate in 2016.
Homeowners Irma and Karl Victorius demonstrate Bay-Wise practices.