In pursuit of excellence

Honoring those who go above and beyond

Ed LaCrosse Distinguished Service Award

Alice Allison

Alice Allison

The Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State is pleased to recognize the significant statewide impact Alice has had on the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program and the Washington State Master Gardener Foundation with our 2022 Ed LaCrosse Distinguished Service Award.

In making their selection, the Awards Committee noted her strong and continuous support of the Extension Master Gardener Program.

Learn more about Alice

She has created and maintained Extension Master Gardener training materials, including material and programs that form core elements of the Master Gardener curriculum.

She has served in various leadership positions within the Extension organization, always maintaining close and supportive connections with the county programs.
She has been active in numerous organizations where she has used her association and leadership to positively influence policies and practices that impact Extension Master Gardeners across the state and country.

Her work has been recognized with awards that have helped distinguish the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program.
She has acquired significant grants that have funded work supporting WSU Master Gardener priorities, curriculum training and continuing education.

Alices belief in Extension Master Gardeners and the importance of volunteers is deeply
appreciated. She is revered as a leader, an advocate, and a mentor – for this we thank her!

Extension Master Gardener Media Award

Claudia Steen

Claudia Steen

The Washington State Master Gardener Foundation is pleased to recognize Claudia’s contributions to the coverage of gardening topics, education, and demonstrations that emphasize the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program and makes a significant and enduring positive impact on the program.

Extension Master Gardener of the Year Award

Don Enstrom

Don Enstrom

The Washington State Master Gardener Foundation is pleased to recognize the leadership Don has shown supporting the Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State’s mission and purpose with the 2022 Master Gardener of the Year award.

In making their selection, the Awards Committee noted how Don supported the Foundation’s purpose to unite the county Master Gardener foundations, the WSU Program Leader and WSU through unifying leadership and supporting the reorganization of the Advanced Education Conference.

Learn more about Don

When he was elected President of the Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State in January 2018 the organization was in a state of transition. In 2017, the State Foundation began a new phase. The Regional Vice President model was abandoned, the State Foundation
accepted responsibility for coordinating and hosting the annual Advanced Education Conference (AEC) and there were vacancies at the senior level: Vice President, Treasurer, Conference Director, Historian, etc. It was a most challenging time. It is said that in difficult times
true leaders emerge. Don accepted the nomination and was elected President of the Master Gardner Foundation of Washington State and we are a better organization because of it.

As President of the State Foundation, Don quickly identified the major issues that needed to be addressed and created state-wide teams to address them. Under his leadership the organization moved forward addressing such diverse issues as the By-laws, the Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) with local Demonstration Gardens, finance (even serving as Foundation
Treasurer for a brief period), the State Conference, and building a relationship with the new WSU Program Lead.

Under his leadership, the first State Foundation sponsored AEC was planned and scheduled for Fort Worden, then Covid hit, and the conference had to be cancelled. He again saw this as a challenge and with his team he led the effort to transition the AEC from an in-person conference to our first virtual conference. The conference was very successful, with the largest attendance ever and attracting participants from several states. In 2022 we were back together again attending our first AEC in four years.

In summation, Don is an exemplary leader. His approach to issues and problems is that they are challenges we can meet by working together. He makes everyone feel a part of something important; that we have made a difference. Don encourages and recognizes people and is quick with praise and expressing gratitude.

Learn more about the Ed LaCrosse Distinguished Service Award

Ed LaCrosse.

This Lifetime award recognizes someone who has had a significant statewide (or broader) impact on the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program or has acted on behalf of the
MGFWS. Nominees need not be an Extension Master Gardener (EMG).

About Ed LaCrosse (1927-2020)
Ed LaCrosse was a gifted leader with integrity, commitment, a legendary
knowledge of native plants and a willingness to educate and bring together community volunteers. Ed completed his Master Gardener training in 1991 and was active for 25 years in a variety of roles.

He served at King County EMG Clinics, plant sales, and became a board member and President of the King County Master Gardener Foundation in the 1990s. He went on to be a Board Member and President of the Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State (MGFWS), 1999-2006, and served as Historian.

In 2008, the MGFWS Distinguished Service Award was renamed the Edward LaCrosse Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his commitment, involvement and service. WSU recognized his contributions to the EMG Program with a dedication and planting
of a Sequoia tree with plaque at the WSU Research Center in Puyallup.

Ed was named WSU Extension Master Gardener of the Year at the 2010
Master Gardener Advanced Education Conference in Vancouver, Washington. In 2013, the mayor and City of Kent recognized Ed for over 15 years of coordinating Volunteer Services at the Neeley-Soames Historical EMG Demonstration Gardens in Kent. He was
a member and Steward of the Native Plant Society, spoke often for the King County EMG Speakers Bureau on Native Plant Gardening, and led the development and maintenance of the Native Plant Garden at Wesley Homes in Des Moines, WA.

While Ed was honored with emeritus status in 2012, our state-wide WSU Extension Master Gardener program continues to enjoy the benefits of his legacy. Link to Ed’s Obituary

Learn more about the Extension Master Gardener Media Award

The MGFWS Media Award recognizes an individual who frequently contributes to one or more Washington media covering garden topics, education, demonstrations, etc. emphasizing the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program and making a significant and enduring positive impact on the program.

Nominations can be made by county programs, Washington State University (WSU) or Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State (MGFWS) members.


Please use the Word file form to submit your application, expanding it to no more than two pages. The awards committee will choose the winner based on these ratings detailed on the form. (1-5; 5 is the high score.)
The award will be presented at the annual WSU Extension Master Gardener Advanced Education Conference or as designated by the MGFWS Board.

Learn more about the Extension Master Gardener of the Year Award

The Extension Master Gardener of the Year winner will be recognized and given the award by the Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State (MGFWS). The Master Gardener of the Year (MGoY) winner will be featured in an article in the MGFWS newsletter, “Seeds for Thought”, and on the MGFWS website.

Nominations will be accepted from WSU Extension Master Gardener county chapters and submitted only on the MGFWS Master Gardener of the Year Nomination form. Only one nomination can be accepted per county chapter per year. This is a lifetime award and is an individual, not shared award. 

The Awards Selection Committee chairperson will, with a 4–6-person committee, choose the best candidate from the nominees. The award will be given at the annual WSU Extension Master Gardener Advanced-Education Conference or as designated by the MGFWS Board.