(Note: This article is written by Dohee Kim (UC Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County) and is reprinted with permission. It first appeared in the UC/ANR News blog. To read the article in its original context, please visit http://news.ucanr.org/newsstorymain.cfm?story=1311 )
UC Cooperative Extension’s Yvonne Savio is Horticulturist of the Year 2010
Yvonne Savio, manager of the Urban Garden Program and Master Gardener coordinator for UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County, is the recipient of the Southern California Horticultural Society’s distinguished award, Horticulturist of the Year 2010.
The award has been presented since the 1950s to individuals and organizations for significant achievement and leadership in horticulture and gardening. The intent of this year’s award is to highlight Savio’s efforts in advancing gardening as well as transforming lives through the encouragement of gardening for low-income residents of Southern California. Savio will receive the award at the society’s award banquet Sept. 9, 2010, at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.
“We are very proud of Yvonne’s work helping low-income residents of LA County grow their own food,” said Rachel Surls, UC Cooperative Extension county director. “Yvonne and her army of Master Gardener volunteers have helped thousands of Angelenos with limited resources become vegetable gardeners.”
Savio, who has been with UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles since 1994, is considered to be an expert in all things vegetable gardening in Los Angeles County. She revitalized the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program in LA County, which is unique in California due to its mission to help low-income people grow their own food. Her volunteers, as well as numerous local residents, benefit from her seasonal gardening workshops and decades of experience.
In addition, Savio edited the third edition of “Children’s Gardens: A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents and Volunteers,” the authority on how to start a children’s garden. Working with county residents, Savio oversees school and community garden programs in LA County, and recently, she has helped to spearhead a new and exciting gardening project, “Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative.”
Prior to UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles, Savio worked in the Botany and Vegetable Crops Cooperative Extension departments at UC Davis, and contributed weekly gardening columns, features and photographs to Northern California and national newspapers, magazines, journals and newsletters. She earned degrees in journalism, literature, art, photography and horticulture.
Currently, Savio lives in Pasadena with her husband, who is a travel writer and photographer. She loves growing vegetables, fruits, annuals and drought-tolerant perennials, cactus plants, succulents, bromeliads, ground covers and roses.
For more information on Cooperative Extension’s offerings in gardening and horticulture, see the LA County Common Ground Garden Program website.
As part of the University of California, Cooperative Extension was established in 1914 to connect local communities to their state’s land grant university. An office in each county in California responds to the changing needs of its local populations, designing and carrying out research-based programs in the areas of food, health, agriculture, horticulture and the environment.
The Urban Garden Program, known locally as the Common Ground Garden Program, has been federally funded since 1976 to provide low-income residents of Los Angeles County with the skills they need to grow their own fresh vegetables.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE LOS ANGELES MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER TRAINING PROGRAM,
you must be on either or both of the elists of program priorities. Please see below.
JOIN ONE OF YVONNE’S E-MAIL LISTS
If you live IN Los Angeles County
1) Community Gardening and Food Security: E-mail Yvonne Savio (firstname.lastname@example.org) asking to be added to the “Community Gardening and Food Security–LA County Residents” e-mail list.
2) School Gardening: E-mail Yvonne Savio (email@example.com) asking to be added to the “School Gardening–LA County Residents” e-mail list.
Everyone on the local version elists will automatically receive the November email announcement of the following year’s Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program for Los Angeles County residents only. Deadline to request an application packet is January 15. Deadline to submit the completed application packet – including LiveScan fingerprinting, background check and payment – is January 31. Notifications, accepted or not, are sent out on February 15. Class is every Saturday in March, April and May, from 9 am to 4 pm in our office. Major criteria for acceptance include previous community service (not necessarily in gardening), passion to help low-income county residents grow and eat more nutritious vegetables, and initiative to network, establish and conduct projects. If accepted into the program, you can miss only one class with prior arrangement.
If you live OUTSIDE Los Angeles County
3) Community Gardening and Food Security: E-mail Yvonne Savio (firstname.lastname@example.org) asking to be added to the “Community Gardening and Food Security–Non-LA County Residents” e-mail list.
4) School Gardening: E-mail Yvonne Savio (email@example.com) asking to be added to the “School Gardening–Non-LA County Residents” e-mail list.