Since the 1970's, the Colorado Master Gardenersm (MG) program in Boulder County has had volunteer opportunities external to the extension office site. Collaboration occurs with various green industry locations via “clinics”. Volunteers are on location Friday through Sunday, April through mid-July to answer questions for the public at large. Due to the length of time this program had been in place, the staff time and resources committed to it, and budget cutbacks, need for a study of impact and effectiveness of this program was identified. A three-year study was conducted to determine efficacy, pertinence and should this system remain status quo. In year 1, a sampling of the general public was conducted to determine: behavioral change as a result of receiving information (such as a diagnosis); was the information delivered in a timely fashion; satisfaction level; pesticide usage trends; continuance of this program and other data points. In year 2, active MG's in Boulder County were surveyed about participation at various facilities, information about clientele activity, and success rate with clients. Additionally, their comfort level on ability to assist clients plus their perception of the value of clinics to the community were surveyed. Data on diagnostics was correlated with weekly statistics. In year 3, partnering Green Industry collaborators were surveyed to gauge satisfaction with clinic service, timeliness of clinic schedule, and value of clinic service to business, and overall benefits to their staff resources. Reports on each survey will be delivered.
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