Archive for the ‘volunteers’ Category

Volunteers Needed at Orono Community “Giving” Garden

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Orono Community GardenThe Orono Community “Giving” Garden needs volunteers! We’re looking for a

If you’re interested, please view the Word documents above for detailed information about time commitment, training/support, responsibilities, and benefits. For more information or to apply, contact John Jemison, Extension Specialist, at 581.3241 or .

Fall 2011 Master Gardener Program for Kennebec & Waldo Open for Application

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

UMaine Extension Offering Master Gardener Volunteer Classes in Waterville

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program for Kennebec and Waldo Counties is now open for application. The full schedule is available. The course fee and application is due by September 16.

2011 Application [Word; PDF]

The program provides participants with more than 40 hours of in-depth training in the art and science of horticulture. In addition, the program trains volunteers to conduct and join sustainable horticulture projects in Kennebec and Waldo Counties.

Trainees receive the latest research-based information from UMaine Extension educators and industry experts. This coming program will focus on vegetables and fruits. The course begins on Oct. 12. Most classes will be held at Colby College in Waterville on Wednesdays, with some Mondays, from 4:00-7:30 pm. Two classes will be held in Belfast (Tuesday, 11/8 and Thursday, 11/10, from 12:30-3:30 pm). Participants must attend two of three tours held at other area sites in spring of 2012. To complete the course, participants must volunteers a minimum of 40 hours at approved community projects the first year. There are many ways to volunteer- demonstration gardens, school programs, Harvest for Hunger campaigns, newsletter articles, public talks and slide shows, and more.

Interested participants may learn more and request an application by contacting University of Maine Cooperative Extension Kennebec County office by phone at 207-622-7546 (local), and (toll-free) 1-800-287-1481.

Master Gardener Volunteer Classes Begin Soon in Knox-Lincoln & Waldo Counties

Thursday, August 25th, 2011
Master Gardeners Composting

Master Gardener Class Compost

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program for Knox, Lincoln and Waldo Counties is now open for application.

The Master Gardener Volunteer program provides participants with more than 40 hours of in-depth training in the art and science of horticulture. In addition, volunteers are trained to conduct and join sustainable horticulture projects in their communities.

This year’s program will focus on growing fruits and vegetables. Trainees will receive the latest research-based information from UMaine Extension educators and industry experts. Thirteen classes begin on October 6 from 12:30-3:30 pm and will be held in Waldoboro, Belfast and Waldo. In the spring of 2012, participants must attend two of three tours and hands-on workshops at other sites. To complete the course, participants must volunteer a minimum of 40 hours at approved community projects in their first year. There are many ways to volunteer-demonstration gardens, school programs, Maine Harvest for Hunger campaigns, articles, public talks and more.

Applications are due September 16th. The program costs between $110 and $330.00 based on a sliding income scale. Interested participants may get an application by contacting the UMaine Extension Knox-Lincoln counties office at 207-832-0343 or 800-244-2104 (in Maine) or e-mail

Watershed Stewards Program Offered

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Extension expert and Watershed Steward plant perennials near lake shore; photo by Edwin RemsbergThe University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer fall class sessions for its Watershed Stewards Program Thursday evenings, Sept. 8 through Oct. 20, from 6-8:30 p.m. in Blue Hill.

The first session in the program, a lake and pond water-quality protection program, is scheduled at the Blue Hill Town Office, with all others being held at the Blue Hill Consolidated School. Registration is $25 and includes a lake-protection resource notebook, a $60 value. Registration deadline is Sept. 2. For more information or registration, contact Laura Wilson at (207) 581-2971 or (800) 870-7270 (in Maine), or e-mail This and other Extension events are included on the Extension website calendar.

Lakefront landowners, municipal officials and educators can benefit from the Watershed Stewards Program. Participants will learn how to identify the most common threats to Maine’s lakes and other waters, and will learn common solutions to those problems. The program also will feature guest speakers from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine Department of Agriculture, Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District and others, including local resources that can be great contacts for lakefront landowners in the future, according to Wilson.Specific topics include camp roads, invasive aquatic plants, lake water-quality measures, and shoreland zoning regulations. Participants are expected to volunteer 20 hours of service to their lake or pond within a year of completing the program. To date, more than 400 individuals have become watershed stewards throughout Maine, and are making a difference in protecting Maine’s lakes.

Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with program goals.

Seeking ‘Signs of Seasons’ Volunteers

Thursday, August 4th, 2011
Beach Rose

Beach Rose (Rosa Rugosa); photo by Lois Berg Stack

Half of the plants described by Henry David Thoreau in his classic 1854 book Walden have disappeared from Walden Pond.

That is an example of how relatively rapidly climate change can modify our natural environment, says University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant climate change educator Esperanza Stancioff.

A new “Signs of the Seasons” bio-monitoring program recently launched by Stancioff, Beth Bisson, the assistant director of outreach and education and co-coordinator of the program, and colleagues will use volunteers to monitor Maine’s phenology, or nature’s clock.

The project is partially funded by an $8,000 grant from UMaine Extension and recently a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with in kind contributions from other collaborators. The goal is to recruit and train members of the public to assist scientists in observing and recording local effects of climate change on Maine’s plants and animals in hundreds of backyards in dozens of communities.

Extension and Sea Grant, in conjunction with the USA National Phenology Network and educators and scientists from more than a half dozen organizations and institutions, have been training citizen scientists from all walks of life in every age group to help with “Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Project.”

“We have an incredibly diverse audience for this throughout the state,” Stancioff says. “There has been more interest and enthusiasm than we had expected.”

More than 170 volunteers already have been trained this first season to monitor the Signs of the Seasons “indicator species,” by observing and recording life cycle events like the appearance of first buds, leaves and flowers, the arrival of monarch
butterflies, and the developmental phases of rockweed.

A change in the timing of one species can have ripple effects on others. For example, “What happens when milkweed, which is food for monarch caterpillars, is not ready when the eggs hatch?” Stancioff asks.

Just as many people closely watch the timing of ice-out on Maine lakes. Stancioff is finding that people are interested in making observations where they live, and providing much-needed data to scientists studying environmental changes.

Stancioff and Bisson are working with co-principal investigator Mitch Mason, a Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Educator in the Cumberland County office, and entities including Acadia National Park, Schoodic Education and Research Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Maritime Academy, Maine Audubon, and climate scientists and educators at the University of Maine. Participants include Extension’s Master Gardeners and 4-H Youth Development groups affiliated with Cooperative Extension, and other groups already working in Maine’s coastal environment.

“What I’ve been hearing as a climate change educator locally and nationally is people need to be able to understand how our climate is changing in an engaging way that’s meaningful to them,” Stancioff says.

The complete list of 13 indicator species are the red maple (Acer rubrum), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), common lilac (Syringa vulgaris), forsythia (Forsythia), wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), American robin (Turdus migratorius), common loon (Gavia immer), ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris), rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) and the beach rose (Rosa rugosa).

Anyone interested in learning more about Signs of the Seasons volunteer opportunities is encouraged to contact Stancioff’s office at (207) 832-0343 or call toll free in Maine at 1-800-244-2104. Community monitoring groups, individuals, families or school teachers and students are invited.

Contact: Esperanza Stancioff, Waldoboro, (207) 832-0343,; Mitch Mason, Falmouth, 207-781-6099 or 800-287-1471 (in Maine),

Maine Harvest for Hunger: Help Us Reach Our Goal in 2011

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Every year, gardeners, farmers, schools, and civic groups grow, glean or donate fresh fruit and vegetables to those with limited access to fresh produce.

In 2010, volunteers donated 200,006 pounds, or 100 tons, of vegetables and fruit, which included nearly 9 tons of potatoes, to food pantries, shelters and charitable organizations around Maine.

Our goal for 2011 is 250,000 lbs.

You can help!

Enroll today.

Then come back and check our progress.

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Volunteer Glenn Wildes Honored at Extension Annual Meeting

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Springvale, ME— The York County Extension Association (YCEA) recognized outstanding volunteer Glenn Wildes of Sanford at its Annual Meeting in Springvale on November 9.  Wildes, an active Master Gardener Volunteer since 1999, was honored with the George Spulick Award, which recognizes Extension Volunteers for “dedicated service and outstanding contributions through York County Extension Programs.”  Glenn Wildes has harvested farm produce from participating farms for the Maine Harvest for Hunger program. Maine Harvest for Hunger volunteers collected over 52,000 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruit in York County alone during the 2010 season, all donated to area soup kitchens and food pantries.

Also at the YCEA Annual Meeting, held at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s York County office, thanks and appreciation were offered to outgoing Executive Board members Russ Osgood, Seth Kenneway, Lawrence Furbish, Chris Bozak and John Bozak.  New board members Rick Burke, Sallie Chandler, Kathy Landrum, and Ernie Russo were elected and welcomed.

The Association also welcomed new board President Joe Moreshead of Saco; Rita Kay Bergeron of Springvale has been elected Treasurer, and Janie Waterhouse of West Newfield, Secretary. Ron Jacobsen of Waterboro continues his term as Vice President.

Ryder Scott, Program Director at UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, shared his insights on the changing nature of childhood during his presentation titled: “No Child Left Inside: Understanding and Overcoming Nature Deficit Disorder.”

UMaine Extension’s Harvest for Hunger Program Doubled 2010 Harvest

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Barbara Murphy distributes Harvest for the Hungry produce; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDAThe numbers are in and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger Program this year surpassed by more than 56.3 tons — or 112,687 pounds — the 87,319 pounds of fresh garden produce donated to charity last year by volunteer gardeners around the state.

Volunteer gardeners in 13 counties this year donated 200,006 pounds, or 100 tons, of vegetables and fruit, which included nearly 9 tons of potatoes, to food pantries, shelters and charitable organizations around the state, according to a jubilant Extension educator Barbara Murphy in the South Paris Oxford County office. Murphy oversees the program, renamed this year from “Plant-A-Row for the Hungry” to “Maine Harvest for the Hungry.”

That’s 112,687 pounds more than the 2010 goal of 125,000 pounds of fresh produce.

“Extension volunteers, with the support of Extension employees, produce and gather fresh fruit and vegetables for distribution to 45 Maine food pantries and soup kitchens,” Murphy says. “We asked for an extra effort this year to attempt to meet the growing need, and our volunteer gardeners really came through. We couldn’t be more excited.”

The Maine Harvest for Hunger program engages nearly 200 highly committed Master Gardener volunteers across the state in growing, gleaning and distributing food for Maine residents with limited finances or resources to buy fresh produce.

Murphy has worked to raise awareness of the opportunity for backyard gardeners and others to “plant an extra row” to donate to one of many drop-off locations in Maine. She says the program is growing, but needs to grow more.

“Local farmers are critical to the effort and donate thousands of pounds to the project,” Murphy says.

Donated fruits and vegetables increase in volume each year, as does the number of gardeners participating in the program. So, too, Murphy says, does the need. Since 2000, volunteers have now raised, gathered and donated almost 452 tons of fresh produce to the Extension charitable gardening program.

For information and details on future participation, Murphy can be reached by e-mail at or by telephone at 1-800-287-1482 in Maine.

The charitable garden harvest program was the 2010 winner of the Steven Gould Award for Service to the University.

UMaine Extension can help you become a Master Gardener

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

3 gardeners; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDAA column in the Morning Sentinel highlighted University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s master gardening courses. The classes help gardeners get the most from their gardens.

What are Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and what do they do?

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

More about UMaine Extension Master Gardeners.