UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program

Search for Excellence Competition a Highlight of 2017 UC Master Gardener Statewide Conference

UC Master Gardener volunteers that were part of a river-friendly garden project in Lodi, Ca. pictured from left to right: Curt Juran, Anita Herman, Sharon McDonnell, Kathy Grant. and Lodi Mayor, Bob Johnson.
Looking to showcase the amazing projects happening in your county? Entries for the Search for Excellence (SFE) competition are now being accepted for the 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference! The conference is taking place August 23-25, 2017 at the Long Beach Hyatt and Long Beach Convention Center.

UC Master Gardener volunteers, program coordinators and advisors from around the state are invited to submit their innovative educational and outreach projects by the May 1, 2017 deadline.

Search for Excellence Prizes

The stakes have been raised and the prizes are bigger than ever before! For the first time the grand prize winner of the Search for Excellence awards will receive $1,500 for their county program. Second place winner receives $1,000 and third place winner receives $500 for their county program.

UC Master Gardener volunteers from San Diego County present "Fall Plant Extravaganza". Pictured from left to right: Mike Harrelson, KUSI host and Lucy Warren.
The top three winners are individually recognized and celebrated at the conference during the awards banquet dinner. Winners are given the opportunity to present the details of their project to fellow UC Master Gardener volunteers from across the state. Prizes are awarded to the top three highest scoring entries among seven categories.

Search for Excellence Categories

Search for Excellence gives county programs the opportunity to share successful and innovative projects in the following seven areas:

  • Community service
  • Demonstration garden
  • Innovative project
  • Research (applied scientific methodology)
  • Special needs audience
  • Workshop or presentation
  • Youth program

UC Master Gardener volunteers getting youth excited about science and horticulture at AgVenture Day.
Outreach and making an impact in local communities should be the focus of the entries, which will be judged by a team of gardening and horticultural experts selected from throughout the state. Projects eligible for consideration must take place in California, be connected to the UC Master Gardener Program and have been completed between 2013-2016.

All applicants, regardless of award status, are strongly encouraged to submit a poster for display at the conference as an opportunity to share their ideas with other county programs. Winners to be announced June 2017.

For questions about submitting a project contact your local program coordinator or advisor. Additional information and forms can be found on the conference website on the Search for Excellence webpage, ucanr.edu/sites/2017MGConference/Activities/SFE/ 

We look forward to learning about the creative and impactful projects from counties big and small!

Questions? Contact: 
(Please include county name in subject line for all email communications)

Southern California (San Luis Obispo, Kern, San Bernardino, and south) 
Scott Parker 
Program Coordinator, San Diego 
Phone: (858) 822-6932 
Email: mgsfe@ucanr.edu 

Northern California (Monterey, Kings, Tulare, Inyo and north)
Marcy Sousa 
Program Coordinator, San Joaquin 
Phone: (209) 953-6111 
Email: mgsfe@ucanr.edu 

Posted on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 8:48 AM


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