Master Gardeners program awards Paul Miken

A West Linn man was recently honored by the Oregon Master Gardener program.

Program leaders recently handed out county-level awards to 26 individuals for their service to their communities and the program.

The annual awards are sponsored by the Oregon State University Extension Service’s Master Gardener program and the Oregon Master Gardener Association, a nonprofit that supports the program.

Paul Miken, of West Linn, has been a Master Gardener for 29 years. He helped develop the Master Gardener program in Clackamas County in the 1980s and was instrumental in starting an endowed scholarship program at Clackamas Community College. Since its inception, this Master Gardener-sponsored endowment has helped send 30 students to school.

As chair of the hospitality committee, Miken welcomes new Master Gardeners to the program. He has also served as treasurer of the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association and representative to the Oregon Master Gardener Association.

The Master Gardener program offers courses on home horticulture in 30 of Oregon’s 36 counties as well as online. Graduates, known as Master Gardeners, are then expected to share their new knowledge with others by volunteering to answer questions or teach at extension offices, farmers markets, workshops and community gardens.

Last year, more than 4,000 active Master Gardeners in Oregon had 204,000 interactions with the public, said Gail Langellotto, who heads the program. Their 181,000 hours of volunteer service were the equivalent of 87 full-time staff, she added.

Master gardeners also gave food banks more than 10,000 pounds of fresh produce harvested from community and demonstration gardens that they manage, she said.

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