DuPage Master Gardeners Earn International Excellence Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2013
Takes Second Place for Work at Convalescent Center
Wash. – The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners of DuPage County
received second-place honors during the International Master Gardener Committee's
(IMGC) Search for Excellence Awards on Saturday, Sept. 7. The announcement was
made at the IMGC Conference on Holland America's Westerdam cruise ship.
The DuPage County group was recognized
for their "Gardening Year Round" community project at the DuPage Convalescent
Center (DPCC) in Wheaton, which earned them second place in the Special Needs
"Gardening Year Round is a
collaborative project that brings together University of Illinois Extension
Master Gardeners and community members, clubs and businesses to improve the
quality of life of residents at a county-operated nursing home," said Sarah
Navrotski, Program Coordinator for Master Gardeners in DuPage County. "We have
had an amazing corps of knowledgeable, compassionate volunteers working on this
effort, which began in 2009."
Master Gardener Linda Kunesh of Carol
Stream helps lead the project, which works closely with the DPCC's own
programming. "An integral part of DPCC's recreation therapy is therapeutic
horticulture that encourages residents to remain vigorous and engages them
intellectually, physically and creatively," she said. "It is a natural fit for
University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners involvement."
The DPCC serves more than 330
residents, ages 23 to 106, who have long-term medical needs or significant
disabilities. For 30 years, DPCC has had a Resident Garden Club where 50
residents each year participate in gardening activities.
Gardening Year Round program enhances the horticultural therapy program in the
DPCC Resident Garden and provides additional opportunities for all DPCC
residents by providing gardening-related activities through the calendar year,
including non-traditional gardening months November through March.
garden activities, crafts, special events and more, this group has made a real
difference in the lives of DPCC residents," Kunesh said.
University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners participating include: Gail
Blessing, Eileen Connolly, Barb DeCanio, Ellen Finegan, Jan Gricus, Marilyn
Holysz, Mike Horsley, Jan Hummel, Dick Kaleba, Maris Listello, Julie Moore,
Mary Ann Norton, Karen Pachyn, Fritz Porter, Donna Ryan, Joe Sable, Jeff
Schoder, Bonnie Spark, and Sue Viravec.
Gardening Year Round works closely with DPCC, garden volunteers, the
Bloomingdale Garden Club, Prosek's Greenhouse, Platt Hill Nursery, Midwest
Groundcovers, Cantigny Park, College of DuPage Horticulture Department, Flowers
by Design floral wholesaler, and many individuals, to make it all happen, said
more information on the Master Gardener program in DuPage County, contact Program
Coordinator Sarah Navrotski at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/dkk/. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in
programs and employment.