COLLEGE STATION — Junior Master Gardener efforts in Menard County, Texas, and Suwanee, Ga., have won 2011 national honors, according to curriculum coordinator Randy Seagraves of College Station.
Bradley Laxson, a member of Morning Glory Junior Master Gardeners club in Menard County, won the Youth Excellence Award. Peachtree Ridge High School special education department in Georgia won the Group Service and Achievement Award.
Junior Master Gardeners is a 4-H youth development program of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
Laxson, a Menard High School student, has been a Morning Glory member for seven years and a certified Junior Master Gardener for four years. His involvement has included a wide variety of efforts from collecting a “bag full” of acorns to plant for the club to raise oak trees for sale to organizing and promoting a county plant sale that was otherwise in jeopardy of not happening, according to Morning Glory leader Mary Kniffen.
He was instrumental in the development of 22 new raised beds for plantings and assisted with a community-wide rainwater harvesting workshop, Kniffen said.
Laxson was named Texas Junior Master Gardener of the Year prior to his national honor.
The Peachtree students were honored because “their handicaps have not stopped them from doing what other children do so easily,” according to the nomination.
The 16 honorees are students of Rosalie Tubre, a Georgia Master Gardener who has taught the junior curriculum for two years. All of the students fulfilled the requirements to become certified Junior Master Gardeners and received their pins in May.
The class rents a 4-by-14-foot garden plot in Suwanee’s community garden, Harvest Farms, according to the nomination. They pay rent on the plot by making and selling brownies at school. The vegetables and fruit from their garden is used for lunches at the barn where the garden is located. The Peachtree group also designed and built a landscaping project at the White Street Park in Suwanee. Their efforts have been recognized by the Suwanee City Council.
For more information about Junior Master Gardeners, see http://www.jmgkids.us/.