Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association (SWIMGA) Celebrates 30 Years – Extension Master Gardener Program

Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association (SWIMGA) Celebrates 30 Years

In 1988, a few gardeners in Vanderburgh County gathered to learn about proper gardening techniques and to share their knowledge to fellow citizens.  Four years later they blossomed into the Vanderburgh County Master Gardeners Association.  Expanding to include the surrounding counties of Warrick, Gibson, and Posey the following year, they became SWIMGA (Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association, Inc.).  On October 9, 2018, members, family, and friends celebrated 30 years of “helping others grow.”

Lloyd Winnecke, the mayor of Evansville, proclaimed October 9 “Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association 30th Anniversary Day.”  At the celebration, current SWIMGA president Tony Buccilli emceed the event.  Photos and memories of the last thirty years were shared and past presidents were recognized for their service.  Larry Caplan, former Purdue Extension Educator, ANR (1988 to 2018), was also honored.

City of Evansville Proclamation.

Beginning with nine members, SWIMGA has grown to nearly 400 members today. These volunteers tend community gardens across the four-county area, including the 1.2 acre Master Gardener Display Garden on the grounds of the former Evansville State Hospital.  Over 10,000 pounds of produce is donated annually to the Tri-State Food Bank.  Members also participate in community programs including the Vanderburgh and Gibson County Fairs.  They assist Habitat with Humanity with landscaping. SWIMGA continues to educate the public on gardening and horticulture topics through demonstration days, fall conferences, and their garden walk, “Tour de Fleur.”

Congratulations to SWIMGA for 30 years of service to their community.

Past presidents of SWIMGA were honored.

Current SWIMGA President Tony Buccilli emceed the event. Above photos courtesy of Tony Buccilli.

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