Demographics and Volunteer Experiences of Oregon Master Gardeners

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, 4017 ALS Building, Corvallis, OR 97331-7304.

The last statewide survey of the Oregon Master Gardener (MG) Program was completed in 1992. Since that time, the program has expanded from 20 to 27 counties and increased by over 600 new volunteers. Compared to other MG programs around the United States, Oregon is the tenth largest in number of volunteers and seventh in hours volunteered. Considering the size of the Oregon MG program and changes seen in annually compiled statistics, a better understanding of who the Oregon MGs are and what they think about their personal volunteer experience became critical. We developed a survey tool to understand the Oregon MG demographic composition and personal volunteer experience. Compared to the 1992 baseline survey, the general trends found in the 2001 survey suggest that Oregon MGs are younger, joining the program with more college education, live further from cities and towns, and are more often employed. Still, the commitment level to volunteering is similar to, or has exceeded 1992 levels.

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