Forty Years of Master Gardener Volunteers

This year marks the 40th year of the Master Gardener Volunteer Program in Florida. Additionally, April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and we are highlighting the memories of a few of our long-serving volunteers. Thank you to all the Master Gardener Volunteers who serve throughout Florida, whether you've been serving a few days or a few decades!

Pat Collier – Baker County

Pat Collier has been a Master Gardener Volunteer in Baker County for almost 15 years (since November 2004). The first project she worked on saw her supervising prisoners as they planted crepemyrtles along the entryway to the then–newly opened Wal-Mart Distribution Center located in County Business Park. Pat remembers this project vividly, thanks to it being a "very cold, blustery January day."

Pat recalls assisting the county forester with Arbor Day plantings at the local elementary and middle schools. "The kids were so much fun to watch taking turns!"

She also speaks highly of the fun had judging a strawberry competition at the Bradford County Fair, saying, "There's only one way to judge a strawberry and we get to taste the best of the best!"

Beyond her local garden club, Pat also enjoys following NASCAR and reading historical fiction like works from James Michener. She fondly remembers attending the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival and working the UF/IFAS Master Gardener Volunteer information booth. Additionally, she relates that some of her best memories are "the personal contacts and new friends, all brought together by a kindred spirit of gardening."

A bespectacled woman with short hair smiling shyling and wearing a green Master Gardener apron

Pat Collier, working at the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival information booth.


More Memories

Or, return to the April 2019 Neighborhood Gardener

April is National Volunteer Month, when we celebrate the work that volunteers do year-round. Volunteer Month recognizes and promotes the spirit of service, and raises awareness about how volunteering changes lives and strengthens communities.