County Master Gardener Receives
Coveted Mary Lou McNabb Award As
Master Gardener Volunteer of the Year
By Mary Beth Musgrove, Extension
Horticulturist and State Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Parks was destined to be a Master Gardener. Her love of gardening
runs deep, from her childhood years to the gardens she now spends
time in. If you have visited the Huntsville Botanical Garden, you
may have seen her digging in the dirt or working with the volunteers
who maintain the Botanical Garden demonstration vegetable garden.
Her fellow Master
Gardeners describe Bess as "a Master Gardener who works quietly
to get the job done. She avoids the limelight and is dedicated to
getting the job done and to continue to look for ways to improve the
projects." Jean Lee, president of Master Gardeners of North
Alabama Association, says "Bess can be found at all of our
projects, helping out where she can. Bess Parks is truly a Master
Gardener from the heart."
Bess Parks demonstrates
one of the most important characteristics of a Master Gardener –
she readily enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for gardening.
Bess completed the Master Gardener training course in 1995. Dr. Bess
Parks became a full time volunteer when she retired from her
teaching positions with the Huntsville City School System and
Alabama A & M University. In addition to heading up the
Botanical Garden demonstration vegetable garden, Bess has been
involved in area Master Gardener projects such as the Garden’s
Spring Plant Sale (a major fundraiser for the Garden), Children’s
Garden, "Plant the Square" project for the City of
Huntsville, and she has worked on several committees for the Master
Gardeners of North Alabama.
Bess has now logged over
1,000 hours of volunteer service as a Master Gardener. But as is the
case with most Master Gardeners, she would be gardening and sharing
tips with others even if there were no Master Gardener Program. Bess
grew up in a gardening family. She is doing her part to pass along
the value of planting seeds and sowing life.
Congratulations to Bess
Parks, Madison County Master Gardener and 2001 Alabama Master
Gardener Volunteer of the Year.