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Interested in becoming a Georgia Master Gardener?

POSTED: August 22, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Around this time of year, I begin sending out applications to individuals interested in taking our Georgia Master Gardener classes at the Hall County Extension office.

For those of you unfamiliar with the program, here are a few fun facts.

Master Gardeners are highly trained individuals from all walks of life who give unbiased, research-based information from the University of Georgia and other universities on gardening- and landscape-

related issues. Master Gardeners give hours of volunteer work with various projects around the county.

The Hall County Master Gardeners consist of around 180 trained and certified individuals who have taken a UGA college curriculum-based class for three months. The next session will begin in January.

The volunteer recruitment and training program has an emphasis on horticulture principles and environmental practices. The goal is to train selected volunteers to assist in extending our community programming efforts.

I coordinate the program in Hall County and county agent Michael Wheeler supports and extends his knowledge by teaching some of the classes. Once the volunteers have completed their classes, the trainees are urged to do some of their volunteer hours at the Extension office by helping expand knowledge to local homeowners in the areas of home gardening and other practices. Other projects for volunteers to donate their time include community/public gardens, plant expos, children’s school gardens and educational speaking.

Improving our community through gardening efforts and spreading knowledge is what the Hall County Master Gardeners are all about.

The Hall County extension office supports the popular class and the Hall County Master Gardener program as a whole. In 2013, about 160 active Master Gardeners were in Hall County. They put in close to 16,000 hours of volunteer time.

The master gardening program is popular because it gives people the chance to broaden their gardening knowledge in a fun atmosphere with others who have the same interests. If you have the time and are willing to commit to three months of fun and learning, consider taking the class in 2015. It is a useful way to learn and grow in gardening knowledge and meet a lot of people along the way.

If you are interested, email me at wcannon@hallcounty.org or call 770-535-8293. Applications for the next classes will go out in September. The deadline for applying is Oct. 31.

Wanda Cannon serves as Master Gardener coordinator and horticulture assistant for the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. Contact her at 770-535-8293 or wcannon@hallcounty.org. Her column appears biweekly and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.



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