Benefitting our communities

Financial support helps Extension Master Gardeners make an impact

The Island County Master Gardener Foundation (ICMGF) has more than 90 members, all of whom are certified Master Gardeners or Master Gardener Interns. Our members volunteer all over Island County, working on projects to enhance the natural beauty and sustainability of our environment. Foundation funding is essential to these projects.

Master Gardener Volunteers

Master Gardener volunteers in Island County contribute thousands of hours annually helping their local communities. Volunteers are trained in research-based horticulture and environmental stewardship. They share expertise on sustainable gardening practices with individuals and communities, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change, keep our waterways clean and plentiful, improve soil health and promote the health of pollinators, improve food security, preserve biodiversity, reduce the risk of loss due to wildfire, and encourage people to get out into nearby nature.

Education Garden at Greenbank Farm

Volunteers manage the Master Gardener Education Garden, which demonstrates gardening ideas for our environment and is open to the public year round. The garden has different areas, each focusing on a theme, including native plants, cottage gardening, four-season design, shade plants, native prairie, vegetables, fruit-bearing plants, roses, and pond plants.

The greenhouse is used for propagation. Nearby raised beds illustrate the self-irrigating planter technique. A crevice garden is under construction near the entry. During the spring and summer, classes are held – free to the public. Visit often to see how the garden changes during the season and how it evolves over time.

The garden is located at 765 Wonn Road in Greenbank, WA. The WSU Extension Master Gardener site provides more detail on each of the gardens.

Food Gardens

Master Gardener volunteers teach people to grow their own food via workshops and on-site gardening at community food gardens. The Lord’s Garden in Oak Harbor harvests hundreds of pounds each year for donation to local food banks. Their 2022 donation, for example, had a monetary value of over $10,000 with an accompanying priceless nutritional and emotional value. The garden started in 1987 and is managed by Dave Thomas, a 40-year veteran of the Master Gardener Program and mentor to many.

The Coupeville Community Garden broke ground in 2021 and has become a center of activity, hosting classes and donating their produce.

Ask a Master Gardener

Master Gardener volunteers staff plant clinics in the Extension Office, nurseries, garden centers, farmers markets, and hardware stores across Island County. We are available to answer your gardening questions – free of charge – so that you can get science-based answers to your gardening questions.

Plant clinics are typically held from spring through early fall in locations on Whidbey and Camano Islands. Visit the WSU Extension site for details on the current season.

Children’s Gardening

Volunteers engage with the next generation of gardeners to start them off on the right foot. Children’s gardens at Crescent Harbor and Olympic View Elementary School teach young people the benefits of growing their own food.

The Junior Master Gardener program teaches children in grades 3 to 5 about plants and how to establish a thriving garden. Classes are free to the students.

Community Projects

A team of Master Gardeners on Camano Island is working to enhance the educational value of plantings along the Camano Center Trail. This public trail gets frequent use by seniors visiting the Center and students from the nearby elementary school. Volunteers are identifying native plants growing along segments of the trail and developing a detailed description of each plant. Signs will be installed to identify each plant and a QR code will display detailed information. A second team is identifying noxious weeds for later removal.

WSU Extension Master Gardener Office

Support for the many activities of the WSU Extension office is an essential part of our fund-raising. Loren Imes serves as Program Coordinator for the Island County Master Gardener Program. The Foundation and the Program Coordinator work hand-in-hand to serve the needs of our community.

Please visit the WSU Extension site on gardening in Island County for details on the many services offered.