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ECHO staff to address Master Gardeners

By Staff | Apr 26, 2011

The 52nd lecture of the Master Gardener Lecture Series will be held on Thursday, May 5 at 10 a.m. at the Sanibel Public Library. Staff members of ECHO (Educational Concern for Hunger Organization) will present a dynamic illustrated “tour” of their 50-acre campus in Fort Myers.

The mission of ECHO is to provide agriculture and gardening information to more than 180 countries and distributes seeds and training at the Fort Myers campus, which is the international headquarters of ECHO.

Founded in the 1970s, it has expanded its physical campus and array of services, both locally and abroad. ECHO is recognized as a pipeline to share ideas, techniques and methods to plant material and possesses a 4,000 book library and a superb website.

ECHO currently has six demostration ecosystems: tropical lowlands and tropical highlands, monsoon, semi-arid, rain forrest clearing and an amazing urban/backyard garden setting perfect for Sanibel’s 9b climate zone.

With a staff of 35, many activities and programs including container gardening workshops, grafting demonstrations and programs for appropriate fruit trees for our area. A fully stocked bookstore, gift shop and retail nursery focus on our semitropical plants and attract over 10,000 visitors a year. These services and programs are conducted year round in contrast to programs on Sanibel which diminish as our “season” comes to a close.

Another service provided free is by the Technical Response Unit, which responds to international workers questions/inquiries via e-mail or phone. Guided self-study programs (credit or non-credit) are available via the Internet and hands-on courses and workshops are offered at ECHO. You may also sign up for their free e-mail newsletter.

The meeting will be free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so arriving early at the library, located at 770 Dunlop Road, is advised.