The purpose of the Master Gardener Foundation of Benton-Franklin County nonprofit 501(c)3 is educational and charitable in furtherance of the Washington State University Master Gardener Program in the Counties of Benton and Franklin, without the inclusion of any purpose or intention of carrying on any business, trade, avocation, or profession for profit.
The Foundation created and provides the funding to maintain a 2 1/2 acre Demonstration Garden (a place of learning) located in Kennewick Washington. There are 25 individual gardens with a vegetable garden that donates approximately 6,000 lbs of fresh produce yearly to the Tri-Cities Food Bank. The Foundation also supports many food gardening and education programs. Over 30,000 people per year are benefited by 140 volunteers. See below for more details on the Food Gardening Program.
Food Gardening Program
WSU Master Gardeners launched a new program called “Build A Bed to Feed A Family” in conjunction with World Food Day in 2016. The program’s goal was to help 400 low-income and disadvantaged people in Benton and Franklin Counties grow and consume fresh and nutritious garden produce in the next two years. The goal was surpassed and the program continues today. United Way funded the program in partnership with Second Harvest. Their support has continued along with other grants and individual donations. The program along with the other Food Gardening Programs won the 2020 “People’s Choice Project of the Year Award” from the Project Management Institute’s Columbia River Basin Chapter.
The Master Gardener Foundation in an agreement with the City of Kennewick established a 2 1/2 acre Demonstration Garden in 2000. The Demonstration Garden is located at 1600 S Union St in Kennewick in the Highlands Grange Park. Master Gardener Volunteers maintain the 25 individual gardens including a rose test garden. The rose test garden is only garden in Washington State that tests new varieties of roses. The Demonstration Garden is funded by the Foundation through a plant sale, donations and grants.
Education is the core element of all the Master Gardener Programs