On behalf of the Moore County Master Gardeners, whom I serve as instructor through North Carolina Cooperative Extension, I appreciate Anita Stone's Feb. 18 article, "Can You Dig It?" (covering the CIS first school gardens).
This fine project, initiated and administered through Communities in Schools (CIS), would not have been possible without the broad collaboration of partners reported in the article.
Two separate projects were described: First Garden at Armory Park was begun in 2006 through FirstHealth of the Carolinas, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, partnering with the Town of Southern Pines Parks and Recreation Department, the Boys and Girls Club, Cooperative Extension and the West Southern Pines Civic Group.
The CIS First School Garden, begun in September 2007 at Aberdeen Elementary School, is an ongoing program administered by Communities in Schools, aided by grants from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and the Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary.
Let me offer two clarifications: While master gardeners assist in these gardens, these are programs of FirstHealth and Communities in Schools. Master gardeners are among several partners that contribute thousands of hours of time and materials needed to sustain and enrich these youth gardening programs.
In addition, while master gardener volunteers do indeed give presentations to civic groups on various topics, including the CIS FirstSchool Gardens, they never solicit donations. Honaria, when offered, are gratefully received by the treasurer and used to further volunteer work, which includes, but is not exclusively, school gardens.
Agricultural Extension Agent
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