Hardin County – Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative and local Master Gardener Volunteer Dave McPheron were recognized as state winners at the Ohio Master Gardener Volunteer Conference held this past weekend at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware.
Tim Street, Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative Vice President of Marketing was present at the annual awards banquet to receive the Friend of Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV) Award. This award is based on support to county OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer programs.
The beautiful educational gardens that are called the Friendship Gardens of Hardin County would not be possible without the generous support of Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative and other charitable individuals, groups, and businesses. The handicapped-accessible gardens and shelter house provide a unique setting to learn about gardening and provide hands-on learning opportunities to serve Harco Industries and Simon-Kenton School, as well as other groups.
The Friendship Gardens was also a state finalist for the Outstanding MGV Project at the State MGV Conference. It is the site of such educational programs as the ‘Children’s Day in the Friendship Gardens’ and ‘An Evening Garden Affair’ which is done in cooperation with the Hardin County Men’s Garden Club each summer. The Friendship Gardens of Hardin County is located at 960 Kohler Street in Kenton and is open to the public from dawn to dusk from April through October.
Local Master Gardener Volunteer Dave McPheron received the state Outstanding MGV Award. A MGV for 12 years, McPheron has been very active sharing his OSU Horticulture degree, garden center ownership, and work experience knowledge by educating others. He has spent numerous hours answering county horticulture questions, as well as providing solutions for gardening problems from around the state via the ‘Ask a Master Gardener’ online system.
He has taught new Master Gardener classes in Allen, Hancock, Wyandot, Seneca, and Logan Counties. He is constantly assisting other local MGVs, by helping with their development and mentoring at meetings, events, and working side-by-side with them in the educational gardens. Because of his leadership and the teamwork of the other MGVs, Hardin County also received the State Gold Standards of Excellence Award at this year’s conference.
McPheron has worked with youth, teaching kindergarteners, 4-H members, and other children on how to garden. He has also worked with adults in the community, presenting programs at the OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Homemakers event in addition to speaking to various garden clubs in the county. He has kept his horticulture skills up-to-date attending several workshops, and helped plan, build, and develop the Friendship Gardens. He serves as the current president of the Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and was also a state finalist for the Outstanding MGV Volunteer Coordinator Award at this year’s conference.