Cass County Master Gardener Program Accepting Applications for Fall Training

Ag/Outdoor

August 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Do you have a love for gardening, a desire to learn more about the world of gardening, and a commitment to being a positive part of your community? If so, the Master Gardener program may be right for you!! Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, shrubs, trees and lawns, and also have a desire to share their knowledge through education and community involvement.

Master Gardener trainees attend 40 hours of classes taught by Iowa State University Extension staff and specialists in topics ranging from lawn care, flower and vegetable gardening, ornamental trees and shrubs, fruit crops, and houseplants to insect, disease, and weed control, soil and plant nutrition, and pesticide safety.

In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer 40 hours of service to their local extension program. The service opportunities are wide-ranging. Master Gardeners answer telephone requests for gardening information, staff plant clinics or displays, speak to local groups, teach youth, provide horticulture therapy activities for the elderly, and supervise or judge county fair horticulture activities as judges or project coordinators. Cass County also has an active Master Gardener group that meets regularly to coordinate volunteer and educational opportunities for members.

Classes will be held at the Cass County Extension office, located at 805 W. 10th Street in Atlantic. The first session will be Tuesday evening, September 6 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, and will continue on consecutive Tuesday’s through November 1.  There will also be three Thursday evening sessions, and one Saturday in October will be spent on the ISU campus for hands-on training in the horticulture department.  The cost for the entire program, including reference materials and all training, is just $150 per person.

Registrations must be in the Cass County Extension office by August 30 to have materials available for the first training session. Persons interested in becoming a trained Master Gardener in Cass County are encouraged to contact the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132 or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/cass for information on signing up for the fall certification classes, or to learn more about Iowa Master Gardeners.