Demonstration Garden – 30 Year Anniversary
Since 1992, VCE Loudoun Master Gardeners have educated the public about gardening techniques through their Demonstration Garden at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg, VA. They have demonstrated that organic gardening is achievable in Loudoun County. With the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor, the Master Gardeners donate fresh produce to Loudoun Hunger Relief, averaging between 1,000-2,000 pounds annually.
With the celebration of the 30th Anniversary, the Mayor of Leesburg and the Leesburg Town Council recognized the VCE Loudoun Master Gardeners’ dedication and continued efforts with a Proclamation on the 14th day of June, 2022.
In 2022, the VCE Loudoun Master Gardener Stewards Assessment Program awarded the VACo award in 2021 (see below), received the Achievement Award for the National Association of Counties (NACo) in the Volunteer Category. The Loudoun County program assists landowners with best management practices for natural resource conservation.
Following this recognition in 2022, the Program and VCE Loudoun Master Gardeners received a commendation from Representative Gooditis citing the important work the volunteers do to make a difference in the community. It is House Resolution 78 or HR78. Photo above right.
In 2021, the VCE Loudoun Master Gardener Stewards team received the Virginia Association of Counties (VaCo) Award for excellence and innovation in the Environmental Category. The Loudoun County program assists landowners with best management practices for natural resource conservation.
Through the program, Master Gardener volunteers assess ponds, landscapes and land bordering streams that, through the years, have grown shady or stagnant and may threaten natural resource conservation during a weather event. The volunteers document the issues through photos and samples of pond weeds and water, and also survey the surrounding landscape. Property owners then receive a detailed report, including options that can help them better maintain their landscape, such as methods for erosion and sediment control. This contributes to the improved health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed as eroding land and stream banks are a major source of harmful excess sediment that flows to the Chesapeake Bay.
Demonstration Garden, Ida Lee Park, Leesburg, VA
In 2012, the Demo Garden was recognized by the Loudoun County Design Cabinet for the “Signatures of Loudoun Design Excellence Award” as a winner in the Public Landscapes category. This accolade bestows recognition of “design excellence demonstrated in the form of public greens, plazas and squares, which, by their organization and attributes , have created gathering places that are icons of our community”. We take pride in this award supported by the Loudoun Department of Economic Development.
The Demo Garden Leadership attended a ceremony headed by Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York at Dulles Airport, where the winners of the 2012 Excellence Awards proudly display their awards.
In 2007, the Garden was honored by the Town of Leesburg Environmental Advisory Commission with the “John W. Tolbert, Jr. Environmental Achievement Award”. This annual award program recognizes efforts by citizens, students, community groups and businesses to improve the Town’s environment. The Garden was awarded for work benefiting the Town’s environment through their example that a wholly organic garden is feasible and doable.
In 1996, the Garden was recognized by the Leesburg Environmental Advisory Commission and awarded the “1996 Community Improvement Award“. The Environmental Advisory Commission (EAC) is 7 members appointed by the Town Council to make recommendations to the Council to promote and protect the environmental interests of the Town.
Garden 2 Table Team
Each year, the Volunteer Loudoun Board of Directors accepts nominations of outstanding individuals and groups who selflessly give of their time and provide exceptional volunteer service. Those eligible for nomination include individuals, groups and organizations whose volunteer services have directly benefited the Loudoun County community. Honorees are selected based on their level of commitment and the impact made on those being served. An individual (or group) candidate is selected for each of the designated volunteer categories.
In 2010, the Loudoun Volunteer Recruitment and Recognition Committee selected the Loudoun Master Gardener’s Garden to Table Team with the “Outstanding Volunteer Project“ that year.