Extension Master Gardener program begins August 1

Published 4:02 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Once per year the Cooperative Extension Office offers the Extension Master Gardener course to a limited number of students. To enroll in the course one must fill out an application and pay a fee to cover the tuition. This year’s course will consist of 11 weeks of training. The classes will meet each Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon from August 1 until October 17.

The training will primarily be lecture and lab. Students will learn an in-depth overview of horticulture and be assessed with quizzes and a comprehensive final exam. This exam is open book but not open neighbor.

The Extension Master Gardener Program is essentially a volunteer program. Once you have completed the training you are expected to give 40 hours of volunteer effort for the Cooperative Extension in Polk County within one year of the completion of your course. For all years after your first, the requirement drops to 20 hours.

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The purpose of this volunteer effort is to “extend Extension.” This can be accomplished by working the Master Gardener Hotline where questions from the public are answered. You will also have the opportunity to contribute to demonstration/research gardens and to provide trainings as needed for the public. No matter what your current level of training is, when you leave you will be a Master Gardener.

For more information, contact the Polk County Cooperative Extension at 828-894-8218.

– article submitted by Sarah Gottfried