Knox County Master Gardeners

Knox County Extension Master Gardener Awards

For the first time in its history, Knox County Master Gardeners (KCMG) received a first place award from the International Master Gardener Conference.

"The KCMG project, Prune Like a Pro” video series, placed 1st in the Workshops/Presentations category for the International 2023 Search for Excellence (SFE) awards. The project, which airs on YouTube, is filmed, edited and produced by master gardener Marsha Lehman. At last years Tennessee Extension Master Gardener state conference the project also received a state SFE 1st place award. The series has more than 40 original videos and handouts available for the public and had more than 27,000 views during 2021-22. (By the end of 2023, there were 56 videos in the pruning series and total views reached nearly 50,000.) 

In addition, the KCMG project Gardening Tips Live!” tied for 3rd place in the Community Service category for the International 2023 SFE awards. The program, which airs on Facebook, is hosted by KCMG volunteers Amy Haun, Tobi Johnson, Brian Townsend, Rosanne Smith and Margeaux Emery. It answers live questions and provides weekly gardening information for more than 18,000 gardeners participating in the Knoxville Area Gardening Tips Facebook group. Each show averages 400 views and is available on Facebook. It also received a state 1st place SFE award at last years state conference.

KCMG is happy to receive this international recognition of our dedicated master gardeners by their world-wide peers. We're so proud of each of the recipients, who represent more than 200 passionate Knox County master gardeners.” By Rosanne Smith, president of KCMG.

I am so excited for our hard-working Knox County Master Gardeners to receive recognition at the international level,” said Rylan Thompson, master gardener coordinator, Tennessee State University Extension. “These volunteers, along with many others, work tirelessly to offer practical and useful research-based horticulture information in the community. Their innovations have allowed us to reach an ever growing audience, and I cant wait to see what comes next,” he added.

The awards were presented at the International Master Gardener Conference June 18-22 in Overland Park, KS, which attracted more than 1,100 master gardeners from throughout the world.

The international Search for Excellence Awards are named in honor of David Gibby, founder of the first extension master gardener program at Washington State University. 

KCMG, a Tennessee non-profit 501 (c) (3), is a University of Tennessee Extension program with more than 200 active members who perform volunteer activities in the county, answer garden questions for homeowners and educate new master gardeners each year.

Submitted by Nancy Howell, Knox County Master Gardeners  865-661-0091


International Search for Excellence Award, 1st place in Workshop/Presentation for the "Prune Like a Pro" video series - Marsha Lehman

International Search for Excellence Award, 3rd place in Community Service for "Gardening Tips Live!"Amy Haun, Tobi Johnson, Brian Townsend, Rosanne Smith and Margeaux Emery


Tennessee Search for Excellence Awards: Outstanding Individual Master Gardener Award, Large/Urban group: Knox County - Cathy Carpenter.

SFE Service Award, Workshop or Presentation: Knox County - "Gardening Tips Live!" 

SFE Service Award, 

Written/Recorded Educational Content: Knox County - "Prune Like a Pro".


International Search for Excellence Award, 2nd place for Community Service with our Community Garden partnership at Concord United Methodist Church.


Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, Hardin Valley Elementary School Learning Garden, Written Education Category.


Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, Barbara O'Neil, Outstanding Master Gardener of the Year (Eastern Region).


International Search for Excellence Award, 2nd place for our Speaker's Bureau.


Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, 1st place for Community Service with our Community Garden partnership at Concord United Methodist Church.

Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, 1st Place for Workshop or Presentation with our Speaker's Bureau.

Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, 1st Place for Demonstration Garden with our Charity Garden partnership at All Saints Catholic Church.

Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, Barbra Bunting and Marsha Lehman tied for Outstanding Master Gardener of the Year.

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