Deadline Approaching To Become U of M Extension Master Gardener
If you have an interest in plants and gardening and would enjoy sharing that interest with others, come grow with us! Become a University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener in Pine County. Applications are being accepted now until October 1, 2013.
Individuals selected for the program begin an internship that starts with the Master Gardener Core Course training that begins January 13, 2014. The course can be taken online or in-person on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus or through a combination of the two. Instructors are University of Minnesota Extension educators and faculty. If there is enough interest local discussion sessions can be arranged.
Following the course, interns will complete 50 hours of volunteer time in the first year working with local Master Gardeners on a variety of projects that educate the public about gardening and horticulture. You might answer plant questions by phone or at an information booth, write a newspaper column, or make a presentation to a community group. The primary projects in Pine County have been the annual horticulture day, coordinating the Pine City Community Garden, the County Fair booth, an ‘Ask a Master Gardener’ booth at the Pine City and Sandstone Farmers Markets, and several others.
After completing the internship in the first year, you become a certified University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener. To remain certified in following years, Master Gardeners must contribute at least 25 hours of volunteer service annually.
The fee for the Master Gardener Core Course is $275. The Pine County Master Gardeners are offering up to ten $125 scholarships for new interns approved to take the core course and who promise to put in 50 volunteer hours. Each county has a different scholarship offer.
Becoming a Master Gardener is a great opportunity to take a basic college horticulture course for a very reasonable fee and to meet people in the community and county who have similar interests.
For an application packet and more information, call the following U of MN Extension Master Gardener Coordinators or Master Gardeners. In Pine County, contact Terry Salmela at 1-800-657-3813 Ext. #3 or 612-390-3149 at the Courthouse in Pine City. In Kanabec County contact Master Gardener Donna Sternberg at 612-325-0619. In Isanti County, contact Les Anderson at 763-689-8250 at the Courthouse in Cambridge. In Chisago County contact Sue Humble at 651-277-0151 at the Extension office in North Branch. In Mille Lacs County contact Master Gardener Sandra Bronson at 763-389-3365. Check out more information about the training and the Extension Master Gardener program at www.mg.umn.edu.