Since its inception in 2009 through the fall of 2016, UConn Master Composter volunteers have donated 3100 hours of their time educating the public on composting reaching out to over 26,778 individuals, bringing the value of their volunteer contributions ($25/hr) to the University to around $77,500!
UConn Master Composter Outreach efforts are quite varied. Many Master Composters initiate their own outreach projects but requests for compost information, presentations and assistance also come in through the UConn Home & Garden Education Center.
Over the last five years Master Composters have given presentations on composting to civic organizations, spiritual groups, community gardeners, elementary, middle, high school and college students, and at summer camps, UConn Extension events and UConn Garden Master classes. Other volunteers have worked with schools and community gardens providing advice and assistance for developing and managing composting systems.
They have staffed tables at Earth Day events throughout Connecticut, at county fairs, Extension garden fairs, conferences and farmer’s markets. Volunteers have written articles about composting, helped create and update fact sheets, and developed promotional and educational displays and materials. Certain volunteers teach parts of the Master Composter class, keep volunteer hour records and help coordinate and administrate the program.
Those with carpentry skills have built one to three bin wooden composting systems for demonstration purposes at county Extension Centers, for school programs, a nature center and a retreat house. One especially skilled volunteer created mini-to scale models of several types of composting structures that are used on our display tables.
A number of requests are for presentations, demonstrations and workshops on vermicomposting (indoor composting with worms) which is popular with adults and children alike.
Occasionally outreach activities are allowed to be incorporated into work or other volunteer activities as long as the benefits go to the community. Such is the case with the Peels and Wheels program in New Haven and another Master Composter’s efforts in Vietnam.
UConn Master Composters:
Give Compost Presentations
Staff Compost Information Tables
Assist with Outreach Materials
Consult with Schools on Compost Issues/Education
Teach/Consult with Community Gardeners
Hold Compost/Vermicompost Workshops
Hosted Cable TV Shows on Composting
Teach Children About Composting
Develop/implement Compost Programs for Summer Camps