W. Va. Master Gardener Program

Volunteer Program Recognition Guidelines

Deadline for applications is January 15.

1. Project must fit into one of these categories. (Your project may cover more than one category, but you must choose one main category for it to be considered.)

  • Youth Programs
  • Demonstration Garden
  • Workshop or Presentation or Hands-on Programs
  • Community Service
  • Innovative Projects
  • Special Audiences, Senior/Disabled Audiences, or Hort. Therapy
  • MG Awareness
  • Other or General MG Accomplishment

It must have completed at least one cycle and be worked on over the past two years. Previous winners are not eligible.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION-All applications are judged independently using the following criteria:

A. Simplicity of project (easy to replicate).......................................10 points
B. Practicality, usefulness, or relevance of project for situation….10 points
C. Originality or creativity…..............................................................10 points
D. Consistent with Extension and MG missions…...........................20 points
E. Clarity and completeness of project application….......................20 points
F. Significance of learning…............................................................20 points
G. Number of people impacted …....................................................10 points


TOTAL….........................................................................................100 points

A. It must be simple to replicate. A goal of an outstanding program is to share the excellent ideas and programs so they (or parts) can be replicated by other MG groups. (Ex. A 20-acre botanic garden would be difficult to replicate, but the gardening ideas inside it would be easy to create somewhere else. A step-by-step “how to do this”; would be a great way to share your project.)

B. It must be practical. An outstanding volunteer program is one that is easy to use and fits well for the situation it is intended. (Ex. You could develop a wonderful program with a $10 admission fee, but if people can’t afford it they won’t come. You have found the best way possible to meet a need of your community.)

C. It must be original and creative. We are looking for that added touch that makes the program your own…or that reflects the personalities of the Master Gardeners who are working with it. (We don’t want you to recreate the wheel, just maybe parts of it so that it fits your situation.)

D. It must reflect Extension and MG missions.

● All Extension and MG programs are available to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin, and marital or family status.
● All Extension and Master Gardener programs should have an educational component within them.
● All Extension and MG programs should extend the resources of the University to people wherever they live, helping them use knowledge to solve problems at work, at home, and in their communities.

E. Project application should be written by the Master Gardener(s) involved. Explain how your project meets the criteria as an outstanding project. Provide your response in a Word or WordPerfect document. Limit your application to 3 single-spaced pages. Don’t include any pictures or handouts. If your project is selected as a winner, digital pictures etc. will be requested from you.

Use the following outline for your application:

1. Name of MG county program
2. Name of MG coordinator/Extension staff
3. Name, title, address, phone, e-mail of MG contact person
4. Category. (Must select and submit in only one category)
5. Name of project
6. Description of Project. Include methods of instruction, results, conclusions.
7. Names of Master Gardeners involved in project. (Those who should receive a
certificate if this is a winning project.) Please don’t include their role.
8. Simplicity
9. Practicality
10. Originality/creativity
11. Extension and MG Mission/Goals
12. Significant learning and impacts
13. Number of people impacted
14. Support from other community groups
15. Budget
16. Other pertinent information

F. Significant learning and impact. One area that we need to encourage and it isn’t something that we have emphasized much in the past. The teaching and service done by Master Gardeners are usually excellent, however the impact made from the program and extent of learning that occurred by the Master Gardener or the participants is what will be judged. (Questions that ask, “How do you plan to use this information?” or “Can you share specific information that you learned today?” can help to show impact, especially if you can show that 70% of the participants plan to use less pesticides, for example. Don’t provide canned answers for them to choose from; let them write out what they learned. Pre/post and follow-up post tests are good ways to show their initial level of education and what they did learn and use.)

G. People and Master Gardeners impacted. (Did you reach the most people possible? An outstanding MG project will help to make your community -whatever you describe that to be – a better place.)

E-mail application to Mira Danilovich by January 15. Please put the MG county program name in the subject line of the email. Receipt of application will be verified via e-mail within two days.

Questions should be directed to Mira Danilovich. No hard copy or mailed applications will be accepted.


We applaud all of the volunteer work done by the Master Gardeners and encourage you to complete an application so that work can be recognized on the state level.