EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Middlesex County office of Rutgers Cooperative Extension held a graduation ceremony recently for its current Master Gardener graduates. Master Gardeners came from numerous towns including: East Brunswick, Edison, Middlesex, Monroe, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Piscataway, South Plainfield and South River.

The ceremony was held at the local 4-H Center in East Brunswick, and was attended by local Master Gardener alumni, current graduates and the Extension office staff. Congratulations to all the Master Gardeners who completed their graduation requirements:

Edison Master Gardeners

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Pat Gelon, Isabelle Kass, Neela Khanolkar, Elsie Pabon, Heather Salvatore, and Susan Jiang 

South Plainfield Master Gardeners

Pat Gelon, Isabelle Kass, Neela Khanolkar, Elsie Pabon, Heather Salvatore, and Susan Jiang 

Basking Ridge Master Gardeners

Katie Andrews and Eileen Burnash

Dayton Master Gardener

Clara Rivera- Pacheco      

East Brunswick Master Gardeners

Katherine Anouna and Ajit Joshi                      

Fords Master Gardener

Bridget Mate

Flemington Master Gardener

Janice Moore

Freehood Master Gardener

Alvin Cheslow

Gillette Master Gardener

P. Lita Wittinghill

Kendall Park Master Gardener

Bob Florentine                  

Manasquan Fords Master Gardener

Brian Kenyon                 

Middlesex Fords Master Gardener

Mark Kranz      

Monroe Township Fords Master Gardeners

Sara Arboleda, Janet Kronengold , Yvette O’Connor  and Arlene Clarke                   

Monmouth Junction Master Gardener

Mithu Chenji                 

New Brunswick Fords Master Gardener

Miranda Wittenburg          

North Brunswick Master Gardeners

Marcie & Marty Kaminker

Ocean Master Gardener

Rene Wefer                     

Pemberton Master Gardener

Hilda Brown                     

Piscataway Master Gardeners

Richard Wong  and Charles Oates                  

Point Pleasant Master Gardener

BarbaraAnn McGrath       

South River Master Gardener

Andrea Host                     

“Since 1984, nearly 8,000 residents statewide have been trained through the Master Gardener program,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Middlesex County’s program is among the most active in the state, and we congratulate our graduates and newest members.”

In Middlesex County, there are almost 250 active Master Gardeners assisting RCE of Middlesex County staff and faculty in various capacities, including: dissemination of research-based information at community events, conducting workshops, answering garden inquiries on the “Helpline,” and managing various demonstration and display gardens. 

Master Gardeners are community volunteers trained in earth-friendly gardening and environmental principles. In Middlesex County, the training portion of the Master Gardener program lasts for one year. The program begins and ends in September starting with weekly classes from Fall to Spring, followed by hands-on activities in the vegetable and herb gardens during the growing season. Middlesex County has both a day and evening program on Friday mornings and Thursday evenings.  

“Our Master Gardeners help us protect the beauty and environmental health of Middlesex County,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Kenneth Armwood chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Commission. “We thank our volunteers for sharing their education and knowledge with our residents.”

If you are not familiar with your local Extension office, it is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the state land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by; the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University- New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

For more information on the Master Gardeners or any other Cooperative Extension program please call 732-398-5262.