Master Gardener Training to begin in September

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, contribute produce to food banks to enhance food security and make 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.”

The ISU Extension and Outreach office, in Winneshiek County, will hold training sessions Tuesdays beginning September 19 through November 14 at the Extension office in Decorah. The training will be held from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There will also be a Saturday training session held on the Iowa State University campus October 7 and 21, of which only one date needs to be attended.

Those interested in the course can apply at Applications for the Master Gardener Program are due by September 1 to participate in 40 hours of Master Gardener training.

After completing the course, Master Gardener trainees start their work as volunteers within the community, volunteering 20 hours per year while 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 does not include any volunteer requirements.

Master Gardeners donated nearly 120,000 volunteer hours during 2016, providing the equivalent of $2.6 million of labor.

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