Friday, April 05, 2013

Master Gardener Hotline in Greene County Helps Over 2,000 Residents, Improves Volunteer Training in 2013

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

The horticulture hotline operated by the Master Gardeners of Greene County is now open for the 2013 season according to Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Trained volunteers will staff the Hotline office at the Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave, Springfield from March 1 to October 31 this year, and telephone and email inquiries are addressed during the remainder of the year.

Area gardeners and homeowners with lawn, tree, shrub, flower or garden questions can find answers by contacting the Master Gardeners of Greene County Hotline at (417) 881-8909 ext 320 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every business day.

“This valuable service enhances the educational efforts of the Greene County Extension office by providing research based information to the public,” said Byers. By all measures, the 2012 Hotline was outstanding. The Hotline volunteers addressed over 2,000 inquiries from the public last year.

Byers has developed a series of monthly training workshops for Hotline volunteers, with an emphasis on developing diagnostic skills, proper handling of samples, computer search skills, and effective communication skills with the public.

The Hotline is also recognized by being designated the representative of the Botanical Center with the Sentinel Plant Network (, a USDA sponsored collaboration between the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) and the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) that focuses on identification of high consequence pests and diseases.

The Master Gardener Program is a popular and successful statewide volunteer community-service organization administered through University of Missouri Extension. The organization’s goal is to train gardeners who are willing to share their knowledge with others. Master Gardeners become volunteers of University of Missouri Extension and donate hours for community educational projects in horticulture. Volunteer activities include working with non-profit organizations, maintaining community gardens, conducting workshops, participating in a Master Gardener speakers’ bureau and staffing the Master Gardener “Hotline.”

For more information about the Master Gardeners of Greene County, visit

Since 1914, Greene County residents have sought help from Extension in areas related to agriculture, gardening, 4-H youth, nutrition, families, business and community development. Members of “Friends of Greene County Extension” contribute financially to make it possible for Extension to continue having a positive impact on the quality of life in Greene County, Mo. To learn how you can help go online to or call the Greene County Extension Center at (417) 881-8909


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