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Purdue Master Gardener Program Seeking New Crop of Volunteers

If you want to sharpen your gardening skills and you have an interest in sharing your knowledge with others, Purdue University has the ideal program for you.  

Beginning Monday, January 6th, 2014, a Purdue Master Gardener Program training series will be offered for residents of Harrison, Washington and Scott Counties and surrounding areas.  The Purdue Master Gardener Program is a volunteer training program that provides a learning framework for participants to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects.  In turn, participants volunteer, representing Purdue University.  As volunteers, participants grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within their communities. 

Training will be held on Mondays, January 6 through March 31, at two locations. Participants will have the option of an afternoon training from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Harrison County Extension Office in Corydon (247 Atwood St.) or during the evening from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Washington County Government Building Meeting Room in Salem (806 Martinsburg Rd.) Participants will be exposed to a wide range of subjects including soil and plant science, diagnosis of plant problems, pesticide safety, and the culture of vegetable, flower, landscape and fruit plants.  

Materials and expenses for the program range from $165 - $190 per participant, depending on material format selected. This fee covers such items as reference notebooks, mailings and name badges.  These materials all become part of the Master Gardener's personal collection.  All registrations are due by December 1st! If you register for the class by November 1st, you will receive a discount of $15 on your registration fees. 

While the class will be encouraged to create new educational outreach programs, there are already plenty of opportunities for which volunteers are needed.  Some of these projects include the staffing information booths at gardening events and the county fair, teaching public education classes, speaking to local clubs and organizations, assisting with the community garden and hands-on demonstration gardens.  

The Good Earth Master Gardeners organization in Washington County is offering scholarships for Washington County residents to become a part of the Master Gardener program.

If you would like an application to join our league of volunteers or have questions about the program, contact Purdue Extension – Washington County at 812-883-4601 or email dhowellw@purdue.edu.