Junior Master Gardener Program offers hands-on activities for youth | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

Junior Master Gardener Program offers hands-on activities for youth

  • JMG logoPRINCESS ANNE, MD- (July 31)- At the end of February, before the COVID-19 lockdowns began, UMES Extension 4-H Senior Agent Associate Lisa Murphy traveled to Texas A&M University to take part in the 2020 Junior Master Gardener Leader Training Conference.  The program, of which Murphy is the Maryland state coordinator, is a youth gardening program of the nation’s Cooperative Extension System.

    According to Murphy, the National Junior Master Gardener Program “engages children in novel, hands-on group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment and cultivate the mind.”  Resources are available for parents, teachers and extension faculty and staff who support local educators.

    One of the new programs, “Learn, Grow, Eat & Go!,” for instance, offers parents kitchen recipes from the garden and details on how to create a small, easy to maintain garden at home.  Other programs include: “Health and Nutrition from the Garden,” “Wildlife Gardener,” “Literature in the Garden,” “Operation Thistle” and “Operation Water.”

    During the pandemic and the necessity for virtual communication, the National Junior Master Gardener staff have been offering fun, hands-on activities young people can easily do at home.  Some examples are: “Know and Show Sombrero,” “Plant People,” “Paper Pots” and “Leaf-and-Seed Sort.”  To find online and Facebook activities and events, visit JMGkids.us/virtual.

    “Children can get involved in exploring their world through meaningful activities that encourage leadership development, personal pride and responsibility and community involvement,” Murphy said.  “Youth develop critical thinking skills and the ability to identify community concerns that they then address through group projects.” JMG-Lisa Murphy

    Murphy is currently seeking those who may be interested in creating a local group or club in the nearby future.

    To learn more about the JMG program, visit JMGkids.us.  For information on local or Maryland state JMG programs, contact Murphy at lbmurphy@umes.edu.

    Pictured at right:  
    Lisa Murphy, Maryland state coordinator for the National Junior Master Gardener Program, is pictured (upper left) during the program's 2020 conference in Texas.

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