To advance the horticultural education & practices of its members and promote the knowledge of and interest in gardening to the members and to the public.
In 1980, the Cobb Extension Service established the Master Gardener Program in Cobb County. Since that time the program has trained and graduated 25 to 35 Master Gardeners each year. As a condition of acceptance into the Master Gardener training program, each individual agrees to pay back to the Cobb Extension Service a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer time during the first year.
In 1988, a number of Cobb County Master Gardeners who had completed their 50 hours of volunteer time formed an informal group. Their zeal to volunteer additional hours and to get involved with community projects was very strong. On January 1, 1989, the group formed the Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County (MGVOCC). Today there are over 130 active Master Gardeners in Cobb County. Many of the 32 who have achieved the 10-year Lifetime Status remain active in the program.
By 1991, the members of MGVOCC were participating in multiple programs and activities such as: Soil Test Clinics, Warm Season Turf Management, Xeriscaping for Homeowners, and Water Conservation Inside and Outside the Home.
In 1992, the Adopt-a-Park project was initiated. Late in 1992, the Hort Therapy garden at Cobb Hospital started as an idea but there was not a site for the garden. Both projects are still active. Christmas Pot-Luck social dinners began and for several years the MGVOCC would have high school students playing Christmas music. The Backacher Demonstration Garden also began this year.
In 1993, the MGVOCC newsletter was named The Dibbler. A new logo was designed and was first used on the February/March issue of the newsletter.
In the middle of 1994, the Mental Health Shade Garden was created at the mental health site near the library. The MGVOCC rescued plants and planted them in the garden.
Over the next ten years, many new projects were added including McFarlane Park in East Cobb, the Kids Butterfly Garden project at Midway Church, Festival of Trees, Plant-a-Row for the Hungry, the Root House in Marietta Square, the McEachern Nature Center, the Children’s Garden project at Open Gate, the Kemp Community Gardens and Junior Master Gardens at Kemp.
“The latest project to be supported by the MGVOCC is the Smith-Gilbert Gardens, a unique botanical garden belonging to the City of Kennesaw.
2006 was an exciting year for the MGVOCC organization. The Backacher Demonstration Garden was relocated to the McEachern Nature Center, while the Rose Garden at Woodruff Cottage and Plant-A-Row for the Hungry Projects moved to the Smith-Gilbert Gardens.
Today, the MGVOCC supports nine projects and multiple activities throughout Cobb County, and Cobb Master Gardeners volunteered over 17,000 hours in 2010. Activities include volunteering at the Southeastern Flower Show, the North Georgia Fair, assisting with our annual Garden Tour, participating in Plant Doctor clinics, and public education through the Speaker’s Bureau, and our “Lunch and Learn” and “Growing Gardeners” programs. More detail on each of the current projects can be found on the Projects page of this website.”
“Today there are over 300 active Master Gardeners in Cobb County. Many of the more than 50 who have achieved the 10-year Lifetime Status remain active in the program.”