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Reader Opinion: Shame to cut master gardeners

Won't it be a shame if Crow Wing County commissioners decide on Aug. 18 to gut the Master Gardener program by cutting the Extension Educator/Master Gardener coordinator position? Since having a paid coordinator for 10 years, the program has grown...

Won't it be a shame if Crow Wing County commissioners decide on Aug. 18 to gut the Master Gardener program by cutting the Extension Educator/Master Gardener coordinator position? Since having a paid coordinator for 10 years, the program has grown to 83 well-trained volunteers educating county residents with university research-based information.

This isn't about money. The Master Gardeners volunteer hours are calculated as worth far more to the county than the cost of the entire program.

We've got commissioners who don't value education. They think you can Google what you need. For some mysterious reason they want to cut ties to the University of Minnesota. Our state taxes have already paid for the research on water quality and home gardening and how to manage garden pests (diseases and critters). Extension gets that information to you.

During my many hours in the Brainerd Garden Club booth at the County Fair last week I had the opportunity to talk to many Crow Wing County residents. Spotting my Master Gardener nametag, many of them asked questions about maggots in their raspberries, tomato problems, weeds, grass, trees, flowers, mulch, composting, etc. Other Master Gardeners staffed the Ask A Master Gardener booth and answered many more questions.

Call your commissioner this week to ask them to fund the Extension Educator/MG Coordinator position. Or ask them what to do about your tomato problem, when to fertilize your lawn, or the correct way to plant a tree.

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You'll miss us when we're gone.

Jackie Burkey

Brainerd

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTY BOARD
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