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Speakers Bureaus

Posted on Jan 9th 2019

Anita Westervelt

Master Gardeners in Cameron and Hidalgo counties and two Valley Texas Master Naturalist chapters offer speakers and presentations, free, to local community organizations and local Winter Texan clubs and groups for non-political events and meetings.

More than 160 topics of educational and informational value are offered through the four groups.

Master Gardener topics are about many aspects of gardening from garden-to-table vegetable and fruit gardening to exotic Brassavola orchids, including developing public community gardens, composting, butterfly and pollinator gardens, growing and caring for palms and citrus, medicinal plants, herb gardens and native plants and trees.

Master Naturalist topics are about the Rio Grande Valley’s unique habitat and ecosystem from birds, butterflies, migration and critters, to native plants and trees, to adaptive landscape plants, Texas archaeology, shrimping the Gulf of Mexico, and from bats and beachcombing to water features on a budget.

Texas Master Naturalist and Master Gardener experts also are available for guided native plant walks in Harlingen’s Hugh Ramsey Nature Park.

Many presentations are 40-minutes and designed to be electronically projected to large audiences or tailored to 20-minute stand-up information programs with questions and answers. Each organization can offer an overview of their organization. In addition, residents and Winter Texans are eligible to join any of the four organizations and sign up for the training classes.

Two- and three-hour fee-based workshops are available about aspects of gardening from propagating plants to making decorative pots and designing a container garden, to PowerPoint design, presentation skills training, photography composition, and writing for newspapers.

The Master Gardener and Master Naturalist organizations are educational volunteer programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M University System. They offer speakers as part of their community education and outreach.

Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens and receive special training in horticulture. They demonstrate research-based recommendations of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Master Naturalists are volunteers with diverse interests who are involved in myriad activities with local partners, to learn about, work with, help sustain, and help educate others about the Valley’s special native habitat and the critters that depend on it. Many work as docents and nature guides at local city, state and federal wildlife preserves.

Visit the following Websites for lists of each organization’s presentation topics and to request a speaker.

Cameron County Master Gardeners, -- see speakers bureau under the education drop-down.

Hidalgo County Master Gardeners,

South Texas Border Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist (counties of Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr) or contact Elizabeth Perdomo at

Rio Grande Valley Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist (counties of Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy)