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Horticulturist Scott to tend own garden

Longtime extension service consultant to retire

Longtime extension service consultant to retire

October 28, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

After 14 years of helping other people with their gardens and yards, horticulturist Sandy Scott is "pulling up roots."

"I love my job, but it's time," Scott said.

Thirteen of Scott's years were spent as a horticulture consultant in Washington County with the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Maryland. Her first year was in Frederick, Md.

Husband John is a math teacher at Montgomery College and is planning to keep working. The couple has three grown children and a home in southern Washington County that needs some of Scott's tender loving care.

"Part of why I am leaving this job is so I can work around my own home. We've been there for four years but you can only get so much done on the weekends," Scott said.

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And because of the nature of her job, Scott said she and her family were never able to take summer vacations. "Summer is my busiest time here," she said from her office at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center on Sharpsburg Pike.

And there are also occasional math conventions that Scott will now be able to attend with her husband.

Scott's journey with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service began in the early 1980s when she took a master gardener course in Frederick. When the extension agent in Frederick left, Scott was told about the job and went for it.

"I'll be the first to say I don't know everything but I can find out just about anything," Scott said. "I've learned while I was doing it - from regular people - and I took lots of classes."

One day last week, a group of home-schooled youngsters and their teacher visited Scott to learn more about a type of wasp they found. And learn all about it they did.

Scott said about 3,000 calls are fielded in her office each year. She works directly with those queries, and also visits schools, Scout troops, 4-H groups and individual homes.

Scott grew up on a farm in upstate New York and was involved in 4-H activities there.

"When I look out my window I see trees, birds and lawns," Scott said. "Does it get any better than this?"

Scott said the position she is leaving Thursday will be filled.

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