Benson honored for volunteer work



COLUMBUS — A Shelby County Master Gardener has been honored for his volunteer work for the organization.

More than 300 Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteers gathered virtually on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 to honor peers, colleagues, and program supporters. The OSUE MGV Awards program was hosted by state MGV Program Director Pamela Bennett and Program Manager Jen Andon. The event is normally held during the face-to-face MGV State Conference but was moved to virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions.

OSUE MGV Awards are given to those who exemplify excellence in their work with the MGV program. Among the recipients was Shelby County Master Gardener Volunteer Doug Benson, who was recognized as the Outstanding Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator: Volunteer. Benson was nominated and then selected by a vote of his peers from across the state. Benson had previously received the same honor in 2012.

“I feel very humbled to be honored by my peers,” Benson said. “I owe much credit to the volunteers in our group who make my work enjoyable and rewarding.”

Benson has been a Shelby County Master Gardener volunteer for 21 years and has served as the volunteer coordinator since 2010. As the unpaid coordinator, he assists the professional staff of Ohio State University Extension Shelby County in administering the local Master Gardener Volunteer program. He acts as a liaison between the state and local organizations, helps recruit and train new volunteers, schedules activities for the members, and organizes programs and services for the public.

The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents, who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local OSU Extension county office. Working with county Extension personnel, Master Gardener volunteers provide such educational services to their communities as: answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons; beautifying the community; and developing community or demonstration gardens.

Shelby County Master Gardeners currently has 36 members living in Shelby and surrounding counties and provides service to residents in Shelby, Auglaize and Mercer counties. Residents wishing to know more about the MGV program or seeking horticultural information should contact the Shelby County Extension office, 810 Fair Road, Sidney OH 45365, or call 937-498-7239. Shelby County Master Gardeners can also be reached by email at