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Master gardener class offered

Master Gardener volunteers are individuals with an interest in both gardening and volunteer service. If you would like to learn more about growing plants in the foothills, are willing to participate in training one day a week for 12 weeks, and reside in Polk County, this may be for you.

This spring the Polk County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will be offering its 12th Master Gardener class. The students will get training on a variety of gardening topics from lawn care to tree and shrub maintenance to growing fruits in the home garden.

As a Master Gardener graduate, you must possess a willingness to share your gardening knowledge with others. You do not have to be an experienced gardener to enroll.

The class is limited to 12 participants. If selected, you will attend special Master Gardener classes taught and coordinated by John Vining of the Polk County Extension Center. Classes will begin in March and this year the classes will be taught on Thursdays.

A fee is charged for the program to offset the cost of the comprehensive Master Gardener manual. This manual is packed full of horticultural information and becomes the personal property of each Master Gardener program graduate.

Program participants will receive a minimum of 40 hours of instruction on the various aspects of gardening in the Piedmont of North Carolina. In addition, a few special field trips will be planned to provide additional training to the class.

After the training is completed, graduates of the Master Gardener program are expected to volunteer 40 hours of work back to the local Extension horticulture programs. This can be done in a variety of ways but normally one would spend time at the Master Gardener desk answering gardening questions from their fellow neighbors and citizens.

Applications are available at the Polk County Extension Center in Columbus. For more information and costs contact the staff at the center at 894-8218. The deadline to apply is Friday, February 19 at 5 p.m.