2015 Awards of Excellence Winners

Master Gardener volunteers were recognized in October at the 34th Annual Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference.

Honorary Lifetime Master Gardener – Dr. Sydney Park Brown

Dr. Park Brown In her 39 years of working with UF/IFAS, Dr. Sydney Park Brown contributed a great deal to the knowledge base of both the state Master Gardeners and the general public. Read our profile of Dr. Park Brown.


Master Gardener Professorship – BJ Jarvis

Beautification/Enhancement: St. Johns County

Master Gardeners whose efforts beautify and enhance their community. In a small, unkempt public plaza at St. Augustine Beach, St. Johns county Master Gardeners designed and installed a Seaside Wildlife Garden with recycled materials and plants. View application portfolio (PDF)

St. Johns County Master Gardeners

St. Johns County Master Gardeners Seaside Wildlife Project Team (left to right):
Ginna Allmond, CJ McCartney, Giselle Thompson, and Lynda Eidson proudly pose at the Seaside Wildlife Garden.

Communications: Marion County

This award is based on excellence in communications including news articles, feature stories, or columns. Marion County's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MarionCountyMasterGardeners/) helps the program expand, reaching residents who rely heavily on social media as a source of information, as well as a younger demographic. Using the analytics Facebook provides, they can show the impact of their efforts. View application portfolio (PDF)

Demonstration/Educational Garden: Manatee County

Award-winning gardens have educational components and effectively reach their intended audiences. The Manatee County Master Gardeners' Educational Gardens and Greenhouse was the fruition of years of plant sales and other fundraising activity. The gardens include: a state-of-the art greenhouse, vegetable garden, butterfly garden, children's garden, sensory garden, goldfish pond, fruit tree orchard, life-size sundial, and wetlands garden, as well as a kids' maze and teaching area.View application portfolio (PDF)

colorful rainboots used as flower planters

Children's rainboots serve as planters in the Manatee gardens.

Diversity and Inclusion: Sumter County

Recognizing projects that target a special public with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and other human differences. The North Sumter Community Garden at the United Church of Christ near the Villages, was built to welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community as gardeners. View application portfolio (PDF).a view of the North Sumter County Community Garden including a sign

Educational Display: Palm Beach County

This award recognizes the Master Gardener(s) who have created or designed educational displays or exhibits. It is based on creating an awareness and educating an audience about horticultural principles or the Florida Master Gardener program. The Palm Beach County Master Gardeners had a informational display in the Delray Green Market. View application portfolio (PDF).

Educational Materials Development: Sumter County

Recognizing proactive educational materials for the general public or other Florida Master Gardeners. Sumter County Master Gardener Howie Johnson created the presentation "Pruning Shrubs, Hedges, and Trees" for local residents. View application portfolio (PDF)

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™: Alachua County

This award recognizes the Master Gardener(s) who have made great strides in promoting Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ in their community. Yard advisors, exhibits, demonstration gardens, and educational programs are examples of what is judged in this category.

Master Gardener Newsletter: Manatee County

Awarded for newsletters, either exclusively for Master Gardeners or also for the public, distributed in the county. "The Master Gardening Bench" is a monthly newsletter for Manatee County residents, and is intended to impart timely, useful, and in-depth information—supported by University of Florida research—that promote Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles. View application portfolio (PDF)

Outstanding Master Gardener: Luke Connor, Marion County

Luke ConnorRecognizing a Master Gardener who has made outstanding efforts in several projects and activities. Luke graduated with the Marion County Master Gardener class of 2009 and in the time since, has served nearly 2,000 volunteer hours, as well as 589 education hours. Read our profile of Mr. Connor.


Outstanding Master Gardener Team: Nassau County

This award recognizes the team of Master Gardeners who foster cooperation, collaboration, and open communication to achieve a specific goal in the Master Gardener horticulture program and/or the gardening community.

Personal Communications: Lake County

Awarded to Master Gardeners that are exceptionally reactive or responsive to telephoned questions or concerns of the public. Jeanette Hanst has served as a Lake County Master Gardener volunteer since 1999. Her accomplishments include helping to introduce the first computer into their plant clinic and developing their current filing system. View application portfolio (PDF)

Student preparing soil for planting with assistance from a adult

A student prepares soil for planting with assistance from a Bay County Master Gardener.

Service to 4-H and Other Youth: Bay County

Recognizing Master Gardeners who make outstanding contributions to Florida 4-H and/or other youth horticulture groups. The Margaret K. Lewis School teaches exceptional children with special needs. In a community-wide partnership, a school garden was developed with the students' needs in mind. Goals include teaching the student gardening skills, enabling them to recognize elements for plant growth, and understand that food comes from farms, not grocery stores. View application portfolio (PDF)

35 Year Master Gardeners:

  • Eileen Hart, Hillsborough County
  • Mary Kay Ross, Hillsborough County
  • Paula Smith, Hillsborough County