AMES, Iowa — The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program will hold its core training sessions this fall for individuals interested in becoming Master Gardeners.The Master Gardener program is looking for people who are passionate about volunteering and gardening. No previous garden knowledge is required. The program equips volunteers to grow in knowledge about gardening best practices. After the training, Master Gardeners volunteer in their community, making significant contributions such as giving produce to food banks for food security and making Iowa’s fairgrounds and main streets beautiful.
“Master Gardeners provide information and education to Iowans,” said Susan DeBlieck, ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener assistant coordinator. “They are excellent community resources who help make the state a better place to live.”
Master Gardener training sessions will be held across the state on Tuesdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m., beginning in September and running through November. There will also be two training sessions (Saturday, Oct. 7 and 21) held on campus at Iowa State. Training fees are $195.
The training sessions will be held throughout the state, contact the local ISU Extension and Outreach county office for training locations.
Those interested in the course can apply at https://mastergardenerhours.hort.iastate.edu/application-form.php. Applications for the Master Gardener Program are due by Sept. 1.
After completing the course, Master Gardener trainees work as volunteers within the community, volunteering 20 hours per year and building their gardening know-how by participating in ten hours of continuing education.
Individuals not interested in becoming a Master Gardener volunteer can still receive training. The ProHort program allows individuals to gain knowledge while earning a certificate of completion. Cost for the ProHort program is $550 and does not include any volunteer requirements.
Iowa Master Gardeners donated nearly 120,000 volunteer hours during 2016, providing the equivalent of $2.6 million in labor to help beautify Iowa and address ongoing food security issues.
— Denny Schrock, Department of Horticulture and Susan DeBlieck, Extension Master Gardener Program Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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