CORVALLIS, Ore. - Tam Martin has been named statewide Master Gardener of the Year for her work with the Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener program.

Two other master gardeners are co-recipients of the statewide "Behind the Scenes" award and 26 others have been recognized as Oregon Master Gardeners of the Year in their counties.

OSU Extension master gardeners are trained volunteers who share with the people of Oregon their knowledge of sustainable gardening and OSU resources in home horticulture, according to Gail Langellotto, OSU Extension urban and community horticulture specialist and statewide coordinator of the Master Gardener program. More than 4,000 people across the state are OSU master gardeners.

Martin, who lives in Tualatin, has been a master gardener for seven years and is a graduate of Oregon's first online master gardener training course. She has been president and vice president of the Oregon Master Gardener Association and recording secretary of the Washington County association.

She and her husband Gary, also a master gardener, have opened their pet-friendly garden to the public for gardening tours and workshops. She also works full time at Tektronix, and has hosted plant clinics at the company to connect master gardener volunteers with Tektronix employees to answer gardening questions.

Michael Noak and Jean Natter received the "Behind the Scenes" statewide award for supporting the OSU Extension Master Gardener program in ways that are not always evident. Although Noak has been the Lincoln County representative to the Oregon Master Gardener Association, taught classes and workshops and been the voice behind public service announcements, he also works many hours behind the scenes in preparation for each role.

Natter was the Oregon Master Gardener of the Year in 2007 and recognized in 2008 with a Cooperators Award. However, few people know the number of hours Natter gives behind the scenes to ensure that the information master gardeners deliver is accurate and up to date. She is the first Master Gardener of the Year to also win the Behind the Scenes award. The awards were given because of the many classes she teaches, master gardeners she trains and mentors and innovations she has brought to support the program. She is heavily invested in the Washington County phone clinic hotline and remains on call when she isn't on shift to help answer difficult questions.

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Gail Langellotto, 541-737-5175