Welcome to the Virginia Master Gardener Association

Our Mission

The mission of the Virginia Master Gardener Association is to foster communication, education and fellowship among Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers.


Gov. McAuliffe Tours the Agricultural area at the State Fair--PHOTO GALLERY

Habitat Documents from

2016 Virginia State Fair

Backyard Habitats
Backyard Wildlife Habitats
Habitat at Home
Habitat Hunt
Habitat Web

Habitat for Life Crossword Puzzle
Habitat for Life Crossword Puzzle Answers

Smart Yard Care: Big Rewards from Small Investments in Stewardship, takes a holistic look at landscaping and home life to promote Firewise practices. The book by Francis J. Reilly, Jr. offers environmentally-friendly alternatives to burning yard waste, including ways to avoid creating it in the first place. Thoughtful homeowners, especially those in Mid-Atlantic States, will find good information to help reduce, reuse, or recycle yard waste, decreasing fuels from around their homes. Debris burning is a major cause of unwanted wildfires and reducing that activity may also help decrease wildfire starts. The handbook provides useful tips on dealing with invasive species and living with wildlife, as well as protecting human homes and landscapes from wildfire.


VMGA Officers, 2016-2018

President - Joe Kelly, Northern VA
BIO: Joe has been a Master Gardener volunteer in the Arlington/Alexandria unit since 2002. He has participated in several unit activities to include work on the Training Committee and as a coordinator of one of the demonstration gardens. He has served on the board of the local association, Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, including two terms as President. Since 2007, he has been unit representative to VMGA and has been on VMGA’s Nominating Committee and Endowment Committee.

Joe has a B.S. in Science Teaching (Biology) from Clemson University. In 2001, he retired from the FBI as a Supervisory Special Agent after a 27-year career. Besides Master Gardeners, he does extensive volunteering with church, Boy Scouts and other organizations.

Joe is married to Susan, who accompanies him to many VMGA meetings. They have one adult son, Andrew.

Vice President - Joan Richards, Green Spring
BIO: She grew up on a dairy farm in western Wisconsin, She had responsibility for the family garden when she was 10 and was a 4-H member with a Gardening Project sponsored by Sears.

As she followed her Army officer husband she gardened in Washington State, California, and Georgia before moving to Virginia in1973. She became a master gardener in the Class of 2006 when she retired from 35 years of teaching. As a MG she has enjoyed working in the Ready, Set, Grow program, a docent for tours of Greenspring Garden, a member of the Speakers Bureau, and working with gardens and Kindergarten students at Belvedere School. She has been the Unit Representative to the Virginia Master Gardener Association since 2007 and has been serving as its secretary since July of 2014.

In her free time she has enjoyed traveling with grandchildren, teaching adults English as a Second Language through the Northern Virginia Literacy Council and working with developmentally disabled through a Jesus Cares Ministry at her church.

Secretary - Wanda Gerard, Suffolk
BIO: I was born and raised in God's Country - Selinsgrove, PA. After serving in the US Army for 22 years (I retired as Sergeant First Class) I worked for the for Department of State as security briefer and Crisis Management Trainer for seven years. Then after getting tired of spending four hours a day commuting to and from work, I quit and took a job closer to where I lived and worked as a Legislative Library Assistant and Tour Guide for the Maryland General Assembly for two years. I moved to Suffolk in 2009 and became a Suffolk Master Gardener in 2010. I served as their President for five years, and am now the MG Coordinator for Suffolk. I am married, have one son, two step children, three step grandchildren. My husband (Jim) and I have three four legged children -- pet collies - Merlin, Lady, and Pony Boy. My parents and generations before them farmed, raised vegetables, and put up food to feed the family until the next harvest - so digging in the dirt and loving nature is in my blood. My husband and I are active members of the Suffolk Nansemond chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, and I am also an Extension Master Food Volunteer. I enjoy being a master gardener and being given the opportunity to serve as the VMGA secretary.

Treasurer - Diane Kean, Northern Neck
BIO: Diane became a EMG in 2009 and joined VMGA that same year. She has been active with several projects within the Northern Neck Master Gardeners: Gardening in the Northern Neck annual seminar, Horticultural Therapy, the Vegetable Garden at the Farm Museum, the Kitchen garden at George Washington’s Birthplace. Diane is in the second year of her two year term as President of the NNMG.