No one in the state puts in the kind of time these gardeners do.
The Clallam Master Gardeners ranked No. 1 among state Master Gardener programs for community service hours for the second year in a row.
According to data that is compiled annually from Master Gardener Programs across the state, Clallam's gardeners reported volunteering a total of 12,860 hours in their communities during 2012.
The program also came in first for the second year in a row for the most hours contributed per volunteer; on average, Clallam County Master Gardeners contributed 122.5 hours each during the year.
Clallam County came in seventh for overall program-wide hours.
In addition to providing plant and insect identification and problem diagnosis, putting on plant sales and hosting popular lecture series in Sequim and Port Angeles, Clallam County Master Gardener volunteers have been working in collaboration with local government entities, tribes and nonprofits on a variety of projects to benefit the community. Some of those projects include partnering with the Clallam Conservation District, City of Port Angeles, and the county road and planning departments to train Master Gardener rain garden mentors.
Rain garden mentors will be working with homeowners to assess the potential for home rain gardens and other landscape-related stormwater management options in hopes of reducing stormwater runoff that leads to combined sewer overflows into Port Angeles Harbor during high rain events (and pollution in streams throughout the county).
Master Gardener volunteers also have been teaching basic gardening skills in collaboration with the health clinic and senior center of the Makah Nation in Neah Bay.
The group plans to continue a partnership with the county noxious weed board and the county road department to examine alternatives to weed control on the roadsides in Sequim, specifically for the wild carrot, also known as Queen Ann’s lace.