Margaret Walker Calls for NHMGAA Project Grant Applicants

A Master Gardener Volunteer Profile

Margaret

In Margaret Walker’s 13 years as a UNH Extension Master Gardener (MG), she has wasted no time in digging in the dirt for dozens of garden programs. Her latest, and the one she’s been involved with the longest, since 2009, is the N.H. Master Gardener Alumni Association’s (NHMGAA) Special Projects, most recently as coordinator. The association provides grants to NHMGAA members who apply for funding to assist with educational gardens, programming, or food production for those in need.

Margaret and her husband Fred spend time between Fort Myers, FL and Northwood, NH. Margaret volunteers in both places, including becoming a Florida MG last year. She spends winters as garden manager at the Fort Myers’ Berne Davis Botanical Garden, a garden with bromeliads, hibiscus, orchids and bonsai, among other plants. Margaret is a registered nurse with advanced degrees in nursing and education. She teaches online courses for the University of South Dakota’s Health Science School.

In New Hampshire, Margaret is also a Natural Resources Steward (NRS). Between the two Extension orbits, Margaret has worked on Northwood’s gardening projects for many years. Working with neighbors in 2020, she helped “beautify our local transfer station entrance, creating a bird friendly garden with benches for quiet observance in a lovely setting,” she says. Her group also cleaned and replanted a curbside at Northwood’s Park and Share lot, to “beautify what was an overgrown, unappealing site.”

In 2020, Margaret joined a group to rehabilitate St. Joseph Catholic Church’s meditation gardens situated opposite the church.  At the couple’s summer cottage on Wild Goose Pond in Strafford, Margaret preforms water testing and lake monitoring as a NRS.  Additionally, she is a member of Bear-Paw Regional Greenways and serves on its membership development committee. She also volunteers on the MG and NRS Joint Continuing Education Committee.

As a trustee for Northwood’s Chesley Memorial Library, Margaret has combined gardening and reading with the Little Free Library, a nonprofit that builds community, inspires readers, and expands book access. Margaret says Northwood’s library was a 2020 recipient of NHMGAA funding to build two raised “vegetable beds to provide snacks for children attending the library story time and for public appreciation and harvesting.” 

Working with UNH “Master Gardeners [in grant funding] has been an enriching experience and they are an incredible group,” she says. The 2021 deadline for applying for a NHMGAA grant is April 1 and her sincere hope is that there will be “more interest in community gardening and applications for NHMGAA funding.” She asks that anyone interested in applying for a special project to go to UNH Extension website. All projects must be pre-approved by Master Gardener Program Manager Ruth Smith, request a project approval form from program manager Ruth Smith.

UNH Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers share information about home, yard, and garden topics with the people of New Hampshire. Got questions? Master Gardeners provide practical help finding answers to your questions through the Ask UNH Extension Infoline. Call toll free at 1-877-398-4769, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or e-mail us at answers@unh.edu.



Author(s)

Pauline Pinard Bogaert
Master Gardener & Natural Resources Steward Volunteer