The Washington State University Extension of Chelan and Douglas Counties has a new coordinator for its Master Gardeners program.

The Extension announced Tuesday that Marco Martinez assumed the role from interim coordinator Maragaret Viebrock late last month.

The coordinator oversees roughly 100 volunteer gardeners who belong to the program and have been active in creating several notable public gardens within the region.

"The big one that most people probably recognize is the Community Education Garden along Western Avenue in Wenatchee, which is really a showcase for the program," said Martinez. "It's designed for learning so that backyard gardeners in the area can see what's possible to grow here. There's a section with native plants, a rose garden, and a raised-bed gardening section. It's all really quite impressive."

The Master Gardeners program has also been responsible for creating the Japanese garden in East Wenatchee and the pollinator garden in Leavenworth.

Martinez, who had worked locally in print media since the late 1990's, says the position drew his interest for a number of reasons.

"I was looking for a career change. I'd been working at the Wenatchee World for nearly 25 years but I was looking for an opportunity to work more with the public. So I knew if I was going to leave my job at the Wenatchee World, I wanted it to be for something I really believed in and something that really benefits the community, and this really fits that description."

A new class of Master Gardeners will begin their 55-hour internship training next month.

Registration for the upcoming training is open through Dec. 22. To learn more click here or email

More From NewsRadio 560 KPQ