4-H STEM offers National Junior Master Gardener program | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

4-H STEM offers National Junior Master Gardener program

  • JMG 3Lisa Murphy (pictured below, second from right) loves gardening and devotes her time to promoting an appreciation of it and the environment through the National Junior Master Gardener program.  Murphy, a 4-H STEM senior agent associate with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Extension, is the Maryland state coordinator for the program that provides resources for parents, teachers and extension faculty and staff who support local educators.

    Just before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Murphy attended the 2020 Junior Master Gardener Leader Training Conference at Texas A&M where she was certified for the Cooperative Extension System’s youth gardening program.  According to Murphy, JMG “engages children in novel, hands-on learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment and cultivate the mind.”   

    During the pandemic, JMG offered a handbook and creative activities for young people to easily do at home through its Kids Zone such as “Operation Thistle,”  “Plant People,” and “Leaf-and-Seed Sort.” On May 3, JMG opened 20 virtual lessons for its “Learn, Grow, Eat & Go” course for elementary students, an “interdisciplinary program combining academic achievement, gardening, nutrient-dense food experiences, physical activity and school and family engagement.”JMG-1(1)

    Through UMES Extension, Murphy is offering youth ages 8-11 a series of seven virtual classes April-July that once completed will move participants toward 4-H Junior Master Gardener Level One Certification. Murphy disseminated a handbook and starter bag of gardening items to the dozen registrants who put them to use during a service-learning project making a “salad table” at a community garden in nearby Princess Anne.  The UMES Extension 4-H JMG group, Murphy said, is learning about plant development and propagation, soil, water and nutrient requirements, and composting.

    Gail Stephens, agricultural communications and media associate, School of Agricultural & Natural Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 410-621-3850, gcstephens@umes.edu.