The Master Gardener Program: Do Benefits of the Program Go Beyond Improving the Horticultural Knowledge of the Participants?

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666.
  • 2 Department of Horticultural Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2133.

Texas Master Gardeners participating in an Annual Master Gardener Advanced Training Conference held in College Station, Texas, in June 2000 were asked to complete a survey investigating the impact of the Master Gardener program on perceptions of quality of life and motivations for becoming a Master Gardener. A retrospective pretest/posttest was used to compare the gardeners' current perceptions and their perceptions prior to becoming a Master Gardener. After becoming Master Gardeners, participants reported statistically significant improvements in areas relating to quality of life including physical activity, social activity, self-esteem, and nutrition. Comparisons between demographic characteristics and perceived quality of life scores showed no significant differences. Reasons associated with gaining horticultural information were the primary motivations for becoming a Master Gardener.

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