Penn State Extension Master Gardener publication receives national award

September 12, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Master Gardener Manual, a publication of Penn State Extension, received the 2017 Media Awards Gold Medal of Achievement for Best Overall Book presented by the Association for Garden Communicators.

This national award recognizes individuals and organizations who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. The 2017 competition resulted in 76 silver medals across 60 categories and 10 gold medals. The winners received their awards at an awards and honors dinner in August.

"The GWA Media Awards showcase the writers, photographers, editors, publishers and trade companies that have pursued excellence in gardening communication in print or electronic communications," said Kirk Brown, president of the association. "The Media Award winners have been judged by industry experts and show significant distinction and merits that exemplify exceptional work."

Nancy Knauss, state Master Gardener coordinator; Sue Wyble, a Master Gardener; Jennifer Bair, creative specialist; and Amanda Kirsten, editor, all with Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, were the project team members. In addition, they won a Silver Award in the Technical Book category for the same publication.

The Master Gardener Manual is an expansive guide containing a comprehensive inventory of gardening and landscape-management topics for home gardeners, students and professionals. The nearly 800-page guide leads readers through the basics of plant classification, propagation, plant culture, harvesting and problem-solving. 

"We are honored that the Master Gardener Manual was awarded the Gold Medal for the 2017 Best Overall Book from the Garden Writers Association," Knauss said. "The project was the culmination of the efforts, expertise and talents of many people. Our goal was to produce an up-to-date, science-based and user-friendly manual for Master Gardener basic training, as well as for home gardeners."

To learn more about the Master Gardener program, visit the Penn State Extension website at

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 12, 2017