Gardeners gain membership

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 Sequim Gazette staff

Six women recently joined the ranks of the Clallam County Master Gardeners.


Betsy Burlingame, Willie Burer, Leslie Martinez, Sissi Brunch, Ruth Charles and Sheryl Charging Whirlwind were named members of the Master Gardeners at the group’s annual holiday party Dec. 14 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.


Charles and Charging Whirlwind, elders of the Lower Elwha Klallam Nation, are the first Native Americans living on a reservation in the county and possibly in the nation to complete the program, group leaders said.


All of the women completed the two-year Master Gardener Education and Internship program, which includes 100 hours of community service.


Charles said many of her neighbors know about the accomplishment and they feel it’s significant.


“They’ve been giving me hugs and saying they are proud of me,” Charles said. “They are excited about plant clinics coming to the Elwha. It’s exciting that people are responding to us and asking us questions. I can’t have all the answers, but it’s been a nice response.”

Clallam County has more than 100 active Master Gardeners. A new membership class begins Feb. 21.


Contact the Washington State Extension office for an application packet at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Suite 15, Port Angeles, or at 417-2279.

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