NWF Certification. . .grr. . . .

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My local paper ran a news story about a woman here whose garden has been certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. I was shocked to see all the hype, because this is such a bogus "certification."
When we lived in South Carolina (mistake, not my fault) I heard about NWF certification and I investigated it. What I found was that it was ridiculously easy to be "certified" online, and that the only issue was payment.
So when I saw this article I decided to do my own investigation before writing the letter to the editor that was bubbling up inside of me. I Googled "National Wildlife Federation" and within SEVEN MINUTES my yard was a certified NWF habitat! They presented me with checklists in order to "qualify," and the instructions were to check at least 2 of this category, or at least one of that category, etc. Once that was done (and my $15.00 charge had been processed) I was certified. If I'd wanted a sign for my front yard it would have cost me another $25.00.
Now I know the NWF has good intentions, but I also remember what the road to hell is paved with. This is so clearly just a money-generating scheme that it makes me ill. If I'd wanted to spend another $15 I could have had the city dump certified as a "national wildlife refuge", or the parking lot of the local WalMart. There is no verification process, and anyone can just get online and certify anything. Hey, how about the county jail? They have a lot of "wildlife."
I am a Master Gardener and I garden completely organically. I eat organic meat, but I draw the line at tofu and other new age phenomena. I care very much about this planet, and I do what I can do for it. In some ways this "certification" program is insidiously evil in a very strange way, because the NWF has realized what I and people like myself care passionately about and they have found a way to make money from our concerns without giving anything back.
So I wrote that letter to the editor, and we'll see what happens with that.
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There are endless ways for people to purchase titles and recognition. You can get a degree in comparative literature. What does it prove? You read lots of books and compared them? More books than someone who loves to read, but doesn't need to diploma to prove it? If you live on a beach, there's probably a way to have your 100 feet of sand declared an official clam sanctuary.
What about Master Gardener? You capitalized the words, which suggests it's an official title given to you for some reason. What's that about?
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Do you honestly not know what a Master Gardener is? Oh well. I disagree with most of what you said. Most titles or degrees reflect some level of study or achievement. NWF certification does not.
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I know a number of definitions of "master gardener". I want to know what YOUR words mean to YOU. Were you certified by some organization?
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Ther eis only one legitimate definition of Master Gardener. You're sounding very trollish, and I don't feel you are asking a serious question, so I'm not going to play this game.
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Trollish? I'm asking you valid questions. You say you are a master gardener. I know that some organization bestows that title. NGA, maybe? It doesn't matter, though. I want to know why you sought to have the title. My question is directly related to your original post.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

It's a certification granted by the state agricultural extension service after the gardener completes some course work and community service (and pays a fee, of course.) I'm pretty sure it varies from state to state. A Master Gardener is recognized by the state as being qualified to give gardening advice (answering calls referred from the county agent's office, etc.)
Best regards, Bob
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Thanks, Bob. I know the question was trollish and rude, but there was still an answer out there somewhere.
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wrote:

It qualifies you to answer the phones and with mountains of books and periodicals by your side, you answer questions. Most of the time you get incorrect recommendations.
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This brings us right back to the OP's comments. Why did he want the Master Gardener certification and secret decoder ring? Probably for the same reason someone would pay what is essentially the normal NWF membership fee, and get a certificate in return.
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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 19:41:20 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

The difference is that, with the NWF or WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) you are providing food, water and a place to have broods, lay reptile eggs, have brush piles for shelter, and in the case of the Texas certification you must have a minimum of 50% native species.
The master gardeners are nothing like NWF or WWF certicfation.
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wrote:

I agree that those backyard goals are a good thing. But, I take sort of a Buddhist attitude toward the certificate and the lawn sign. It's showing off.
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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 20:50:59 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

I also take a Buddhist approach and it makes people ask what that is and it suddenly turns another backyard into a habitat. It's aa consciousness raising purpose. I certainly don't need to show off, nor do I ever do that.
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I'm confused as to why you want to know why I wanted to become a master gardener. Are you studying me? Are my motivations that fascinating?
But for your information, the reason I took the course was to learn things. You know, education? The classes were intense and the test was very difficult, and many people I took the class with didn't pass the test. I now know a lot more than I knew before.
I am also done with this thread. I posted a legitimate message and all I've gotten are inane comments. I have no idea what you're up to, but it sure isn't honest communication.
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No. You commented on someone's desire to have a piece of paper saying their yard was special. I commented on the desire to have a piece of paper saying YOU were special.
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On 5 Sep 2006 14:19:05 -0700, "Sparky Organic"

Hey Sparky,
You're the person who vehemently put down the efforts of a wildlife habitat certification. Dish it, but take it.
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Sounds similar to rec.gardens.
_________________ John Henry Wheeler Washington, DC USDA Zone 7
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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 14:43:46 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

The county extention office. It's usually taught by several people using slides, boring. By the way, when I got my three master gardener certifications, it was 75 dollars each.
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On 5 Sep 2006 07:38:46 -0700, "Sparky Organic"

Because you know your busted. Anyway, it was okay for you to libel an organization which does more for wildlife than everything you'll do in your life and all your Master Garden friends will ever do.
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Busted? How? Because I didn't choose to explain what a Master Gardener was? Anything obvious you'd like me to Google for you? You apparently think I exist to do other people's research.
" Anyway, it was okay for you to libel an organization. . ." Libel? I was stating my opinion and my experience, and my feelings resulting from same. There was no libel there. Do you work for the NWF or something? Are you screwing someone on their staff?
For someone who claims to be so organic and ecofriendly you sure don't seem to get it.
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