CRESTVIEW The Okaloosa County Master Gardeners have elected the group's 2014 executive board. Incoming officers are treasurer Bob Bayer, secretary Karen Kirk-Williams, president-elect Linda Meyers and president Stacey Taylor.


CRESTVIEW The Okaloosa County Master Gardeners have elected the group's 2014 executive board. Incoming officers are treasurer Bob Bayer, secretary Karen Kirk-Williams, president-elect Linda Meyers and president Stacey Taylor.



The new board takes office in time to assist with the annual local Arbor Day program presented by the Master Gardeners' sponsoring organization, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension Service.



The 2014 observance is Jan. 16 at the county extension office on Airport Road, group spokeswoman Sandie Olsen said. The time will be announced later.



"This will be a cooperative effort between forestry (the Florida Forest Service), extension and the Master Gardeners," Olsen said.



The county's more than 100 certified Master Gardeners are trained gardening and landscape enthusiasts who volunteer countless hours answering home horticultural questions in person and on the telephone, and work with youth through the county 4-H program.



The gardeners also operate the County Extension testing laboratory; operate a speakers bureau for organizations and gardening clubs; and run the Master Gardener nursery in Fort Walton Beach.



"The goals of the program are to increase the availability of horticulture information for the community and to improve the quality of life for residents of Okaloosa County through horticulture volunteer services," Olsen said.



Home gardening advice



Master Gardeners provide free home gardening advice by phone or in person at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences County Extension office. Call 689-5850 or visit  3098 Airport Road, Crestview, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, for assitance.



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.