Picture of Master Gardeners Booth

“Ask an Extension Master Gardener” Information Booth

Are you planning a community event or a grand opening, sponsoring a field day, conference or symposium? The VCE Master Gardener volunteers will take their show on the road! Comfortable manning an information booth or strolling among crowds, these highly trained volunteers are eager to answer questions and problem solve on any number of horticulture topics: houseplants, vegetable gardens, erosion control, healthy landscapes, insects and bugs, and everything in between!  You can also find VCE Newport News Master Gardeners at many local events like the Children’s Festival and the Fall Festival of Folklore.

Picture of the Community Gardens

Schools, hospitals, parks, places of worship, private businesses, and individual communities are just a few examples of where a community garden can be found. The Extension Master Gardeners have information which will help your dreams of a community garden come true. We can also assist with planning or designing your garden or in the education of those working your garden, steering you down the path to a successful bounty. Just remember, when you plant your veggies you will need flowers for the pollinators!

image of Go Green Expo

Since 2008 Virginia Cooperative Extension and the VCE Newport News Master Gardeners have sponsored a Go Green event. From the first event, Go Green-$ave Green (held at the Virginia Living Museum with 80 participants), to today’s premiere gardening event on the peninsula, the Go Green Expo has grown by leaps and bounds. The event has moved to the Brittingham Mid-town Community Center where upwards of 850 visitors learn about sustainable landscape management. This family friendly event showcases alternative lifestyle opportunities, empowering us to make educated choices in the way we live our lives. Go Green Expo will be held in September … go to http://www.nngogreenexpo.org/ for all the details. Best of all it’s free! 

Picture of Grow&Grin Garden

Designed in the shape of a clown’s face, this garden located in Riverview Farm Park provides a unique educational opportunity for families to have fun while learning about nature and the environment. Visit http://www.nnmastergardeners.org/ to download 5 garden activities. This garden was developed and designed by Master Gardener Yvonne Tung. Yvonne has since passed but the joy and peacefulness of the Grin & Grow Garden continues.

Picture of Farmers Market

Do you have plans for the second and fourth Thursday of the month during May through September from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.? Join us at the Oyster Point City Center Farmer’s Market. While there, stroll among the vendors sampling baked goods, honey, lotions, and vegetables, all grown or made by local artisans. But the highlight of your outing will be the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener booth. Always staffed with volunteers armed with research based information, you will find them not only friendly, but well versed in the topic of the week. Topic of the week? That’s right! Topics such as: Vermiculture and composting, weeds, water quality and lawn care, just to name a few. If nothing else, drop by to say “hi.”

Piture of Horticulture Therapy

Have a question about your plants or the insects eating them?  Located in the Newport News office of Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Horticulture Help Desk is a free service offered to residents in Newport News. Manned by Extension Master Gardeners and the ANR/Horticulture Program Assistant, calls are accepted between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. during office hours. All information is research-based and backed by Virginia’s two land grant colleges: Virginia State University and Virginia Tech.

Picture of Horticulture Therapy

Giving and receiving flowers is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. The Horticulture Therapy Program at the James River Convalescent Center does just that for both the resident and the volunteer. Every Friday morning, residents gather at JRCC to arrange flowers, play garden word games, sow seeds, plant plants, or to eat the watermelon grown in their courtyard garden. They have a courtyard garden? Yes!  And all of the plants, with the exception of the trees, are in pots and handicap accessible. It’s one amazing garden.

Picture of Boys&Girls

This after school and summertime program at two area Boys and Girls Clubs brings neighborhood children together to garden. All aspects of vegetable gardening are covered; from soil preparation, planting, weeding and watering to harvesting the produce they have grown and nurtured. 

picture of plant sales

The Newport News Master Gardener Association sponsors two plant sales during the year: one in April at the CNU Garden Symposium and one in October at the Newport News Fall Festival in Newport News Park. Money raised from these two sales is used to sponsor Newport News children going to 4-H Camp in Jamestown and for the Rita Hubbard Horticulture Scholarship which supports a college student majoring in horticulture. Feel good knowing your dollar will make a difference in the lives of folks in our community. Plus you will have the added benefit of owning a plant nurtured and grown by an Extension Master Gardener!

picture of rain barrel

This popular program began in 2009 as a partnership between Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Newport News Master Gardener Water Stewards, and the City of Newport News Waterworks. Since its inception, over 900 rain barrels have been built. Workshops are offered in February, March, April, May, June, and September. Registration is required and there is a fee of $60.00. You will actually build your rain barrel at the workshop! Installation is up to you, but you will receive “how to” instructions. Space is limited, so register early.

Picture of School Program

School-aged children learn about plants and how they grow with programs that are tailored to the age group. After a short lesson on the life cycle of a plant, kids roll up their sleeves and get their hands in the dirt potting soil and planting seeds. This “make and take” activity is a hit since each child takes his/her planting home.

Picture of Speakers Bureau

Planning an event and need a speaker? Virginia Cooperative Extension Agriculture, Natural Resources and Horticulture has an extensive list of topics from which to choose.  Go to http://www.nnmastergardeners.org/ for a complete list of available topics.

 

Upcoming Events in 2016

  • February 13, March 19, and May 14
    Rain Barrel Workshop: 10:00 a.m. - noon
    VCE-Newport News office. Call to register. $60.
  • February 20
    Rose Pruning Workshop
    Huntington Park Rose Garden
    10 am. Call to register. Free!
  • April 1
    Begin taking applications for the 2016 MG training course. Due July 15. 2016 course will be held in September, October, and November.
  • April 16
    Christopher Newport University’s Gardening Symposium
    MG Plant Sale: 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Rain Barrel Workshops: 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
    Call to register. $60.
  • May 12 - September 22
    Farmer's Market, City Center at Oyster Point
    2nd & 4th Thursday of the month
    10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Different topics each week.
  • May 7
    Newport News Children's Festival of Friends
    Newport News Park, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    http://www.nngov.com/851/Childrens-Festival-of-Friends
  • September 10
    Go Green Expo
    Brittingham Midtown Community Center
    10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Free!
  • October 1 & 2
    Fall Festival of Folklife
    Newport News Park, http://www.nngov.com/820/Fall-Festival-of-Folklife
    MG Plant Sale: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. each day.

 

 

Virginia Cooperative Extension Expands Healthy Living Program with Gift from the Walmart Foundation

Picture of Healthy Living

This year the Walmart Foundation announced its continued support of 4-H Healthy Living programs with a new $2 million donation to expand the Walmart 4-H Youth Voice: Youth Choice program in Virginia and 20 other states. This new gift will allow the Walmart 4-H Youth Voice: Youth Choice program to expand its reach from 15 to 21 states across the nation, reaching nearly 75,000 at-risk youth and their families with interactive education about nutrition and food security challenges. The Wal-Mart foundation has been a strong supporter of 4-H Healthy Living programs for several years having granted $4.3 million to 4-H since 2009.

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Volunteers Needed for Family & Consumer Science Program

The Newport News office of Virginia Cooperative Extension, Family & Consumer Sciences is interested in obtaining passionate individuals that want to hone their skills while working with the diverse residents of Newport News and Hampton. Volunteers are needed in the area of family financial management, youth nutrition and money smart, campaign coordinator support, volunteer coordinator support, senior educators (older adults), GED tutors for adult and youth.

Comprehensive training takes candidates from entry level to experienced educators, mentors, budget counselors, and other dynamic positions. Volunteers will have the opportunity to attend various training, join networking groups, build community partnerships, attend resource fairs, conduct community and internal trainings, and much more./p>

  • Master Financial Education Volunteers ($15 registration fee)
  • Master Food Volunteers ($95 registration fee)
  • Marketing and Administrative support volunteers/p>
  • Spanish Speaking Volunteers
  • Registration cost include: the price of comprehensive educational manuals and CD's, tote bags, aprons for Master Food Volunteers only, food used in class demonstrations for Master Food Volunteers only, name badge or button. Please contact Sonja Mitchell at sonjatm@vt.edu or 757-591-4838 if interested.

 

 

Additional Information

 

 

All kids can join 4-H, boys and girls, kids in grades K-12, in all counties in the U.S., on military bases all over the world, in cities, suburbs, small towns, in the country, and on Reservations. 4-H means to you bet active experiental learning, learning by doing, youth are leaders, youth are volunteers, and kids pick their own projects.  4-H has lots of projects: photography, technology, leadership, animals, horticulture, health, citizenship, nutrition, clothing, rocketry, woodworking, entomology, and arts and theatre.  4-H youth are cared about and feel a sense of BELONGING, influence people and events through decision-making and action-exercising INDEPENDENCE, learn skills to make positive career and life choices - a sense of MASTERY, and learn that helping others through community service is important - experiencing GENEROSITY.  

4-H

HEAD, HEART, HANDS, HEALTH

The 4-H Clover means the projects are fun, kids are actively involved, there is quality curriculum, the program is educational and the leaders care about kids.

Virginia Cooperative Extension Expands Healthy Living Program with Gift from the Walmart Foundation

Picture of Healthy Living

This year the Walmart Foundation announced its continued support of 4-H Healthy Living programs with a new $2 million donation to expand the Walmart 4-H Youth Voice: Youth Choice program in Virginia and 20 other states. This new gift will allow the Walmart 4-H Youth Voice: Youth Choice program to expand its reach from 15 to 21 states across the nation, reaching nearly 75,000 at-risk youth and their families with interactive education about nutrition and food security challenges. The Wal-Mart foundation has been a strong supporter of 4-H Healthy Living programs for several years having granted $4.3 million to 4-H since 2009.

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Engaging with Communities

Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists in community viability work with Extension agents, campus-based faculty, organizational partners, communities, and individuals to further opportunity and build capacity in five program areas:   

Examples of our work include training county elected officials, educating entrepreneurs, facilitating collaborative projects, supporting the growth of community food systems and local economies, enhancing agent skills and community capacity in facilitation and leadership, conducting problem-driven research, and creating publications and tools that address critical community needs.

Do you have a question about Community Viability?

Perhaps one of the Community Viability specialists below can help you. Contact a Community Viability specialist or direct a question to them using our Ask an Expert system.

Community Viability Specialists

See a list of our Community Viability Specialists