WSU Lewis County Master Gardeners

Bob Taylor, Washington State Master of the Year 2018

WSU Lewis County Master Gardener Bob Taylor named Washington State Master Gardener of The Year.

If you were to visit the WSU Lewis County Extension Office you would have a good chance of seeing and or meeting Bob Taylor.  Bob is often seen preparing for a class he is going to teach or getting ready to go to Toledo Elementary School to present the Youth Outreach Program.

Bob is not a native to Lewis County or Washington State.  He moved here after retirement from Texas so his wife could be closer to her twin sister.  Bob became a WSU Lewis Co. Master Gardener in 2001 and shortly thereafter a board member of Lewis Co. Master Gardener Foundation. 

On Tuesday’s you can find Bob working at the Providence Place Demonstration Garden where he has been the Co-Garden Manager.

Bob has been involved in the Youth Outreach Program for 15 years. For the past 7 years you will find Bob at Toledo Elementary school presenting the Youth Outreach Program. Bob has led a program that engages the children in sensory exploration and many STEM activities. He not only uses the WSU gardening practices he also incorporates the WSU Master Recyclers and Composters in his lesson plans. Within 7 years with the help of staff and parents Toledo Elementary School has gone from a school of “failing status” to “distinguished status” as noted by the Washington State Superintendent of Schools.

MaryJo Christensen, Washington State Master Gardener of the Year 2019

When I was a trainee in 2016 one of the first Master Gardeners that I meet was MaryJo. She greeted me and said that she was glad that I was attending the Membership Meeting.  Later I was elected to the Foundation Board and that is when I got to know MaryJo as she was the Foundation treasurer and has held that position since 2013.  A year ago at a Board Meeting she was nominated for Washington State Master Gardener of the year and at that time I did not realize how much time MaryJo has committed to making Lewis County a better place for all of us.  MaryJo has been a Lewis County Master Gardener for nineteen (19) years.  During that time she has been President of the Foundation, Lewis County Master Gardener of the Year, VP of Educational Outreach, volunteered to do scheduler the “old way” paper and pencil, Lewis Co. Master Gardener Historian, she was active in the Lewis Co. Master Gardener 33 Year Anniversary Reunion and now she is the committee chair for Lewis Co. Master Gardener 40 Year Celebration.  When MaryJo is not busy volunteering with the Master Gardener Program she is involved with the Southwest Washington Fair since 2011 and is now Superintendent SWW Fair Agriculture Department (since 2017). Mary Jo was the Lewis County Home and Garden Show Coordinator in 2003 and for six years Mary Jo was the Master Gardener Foundation Washington State South West Region VP.  Last year Bob Taylor was the Washington State Master Gardener of the Year and with Mary Jo receiving the honor this year it has been 42 years since a county has had back to back winners!  Congratulations MaryJo!