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2022 Locals Love Us Favorite Club/Organization: Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association

Master Gardener David Waldo weighs Brussels sprouts picked from the Garden Powered by the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association at Trinity Episcopal Church in Marble Falls. The garden produced more than 5,000 pounds of food for The Helping Center of Marble Falls. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

You don’t have to look far to see the fruits of the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association’s labor. The organization plants and maintains gardens and greenery across the area, all for the benefit of the community.

“We have a lot going on,” said association President Carolyn Stephens. “We’re a volunteer organization that is focused on community education, working at a number of venues, including two community gardens that support food pantries.”

Master Gardeners tend The Garden Powered by the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association at Trinity Episcopal Church in Marble Falls and The King's Garden in Kingsland. Produce grown at the Marble Falls location feeds clients of The Helping Center of Marble Falls, while vegetables and fruit from The King's Garden goes to the Share the Harvest Food Pantry in Kingsland. Those two pantries help feed hundreds of Highland Lakes residents.

The Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association's efforts to help its neighbors is one of the reasons it was voted a 2022 Locals Love Us Favorite Club/Organization by The Picayune Magazine readers and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune listeners.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Stephens said of the honor. “We’re so glad that people in the community find us worthy of this award.”

The association’s food pantry-oriented gardens are just two of its many projects.

Those needing respite may walk through The Church at Horseshoe Bay's pollinator garden to relieve stress among the butterflies, bees, and flowers in the spring, summer, and fall. Master Gardeners also brighten the days of people working and living at Oaks Nursing Center in Burnet with a courtyard garden.

“Another project we really enjoy is working with the Burnet Middle School greenhouse program,” Stephens said.

Throughout the school year, association members lend a hand at the greenhouse, helping students propagate and grow plants. During the spring, students and Master Gardeners hold a well-attended plant sale on campus.

The association also organizes the Burnet Farmers and Crafts Market from late spring through early November.

And its biggest event is the annual Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show. It's been canceled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is back on for 2022. Complete with educational programs and vendors, the show is Saturday, March 26, in the Burnet County AgriLife Building, 607 Vandeveer St. in Burnet.

The Master Gardener Association is one of the most active organizations in the Highland Lakes with members representing every adult age group.

“We have a lot of fun,” Stephens said. “It’s a great group of people who want to share their gardening knowledge and also learn more. We’re so grateful to the community for picking us as a favorite.”

Visit the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association’s website, burnetcountyhighlandlakesmastergardener.org, for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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