Cyndi Lauderdale, Ext. Agent
October 29, 2012
Don’t Miss Master Gardener Training for 2013
The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program, a joint effort of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and volunteers, was created to meet requests from home gardeners for horticultural information. Fifty years ago, an Extension agent dealt with the questions of a few-hundred farm families, today much of that farm land is subdivisions, increasing the number of families Cooperative Extension serves by the hundreds. In addition, many families move to North Carolina and are unfamiliar with the grasses, shrubs, trees, diseases, insects, flowers and wildlife. Fortunately, they can call the local Extension Center for advice on plant selection and care recommendations. The Wilson County Extension Master Gardeners has been running successfully for 20 years and we invite you to join us!
The Wilson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer students receive 40 hours of training in many areas related to horticulture such as botany, soils, fertilizers, insects, diseases, pesticides, pruning, vegetable gardening, fruits, lawns, trees, shrubs, and flowers. In order to graduate from the class you must complete a take home exam and a practical exam. The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer graduates are required to give to Cooperative Extension those 40 hours in volunteer service in county horticultural programs within one year. After the first year to maintain active Master Gardener status, the Master Gardener must agree to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours annually.
Duties include assisting in responding to gardening questions by answering telephone calls and emails, garden work in the Wilson Botanical Gardens, setting up and conducting classes, meetings, clinics, tours, demonstrations, manning displays and speaking to outside groups.
Some of the projects the Wilson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers participate in are a garden telephone helpline, newsletter writing, youth classes, speeches to civic groups, fact sheet distribution, garden tours, fairs, and landscape demonstrations in the Wilson Botanical Gardens located at the Wilson County Agricultural Center. The Wilson Botanical Gardens has an arboretum, culinary and medicinal herb garden, mixed planting/display garden, Children’s Secret Garden, Heritage garden, pondside garden, container gardens, composting demonstration, greenhouse, daylily/ornamental grass collections, native plant garden and much more. New volunteer opportunities are available every year as our program expands.
The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer is a true asset to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and county residents. We are delighted to continue the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program in Wilson County and look forward to working with community members in this exciting gardening experience. I personally appreciate all the hard work these devoted folks put in each year (over 2,892 hours in 2011). I am looking forward to continue working with them and you in the future.
The Wilson County office of North Carolina Cooperative Extension needs your help. Due to the continued demand for gardening information, we will hold an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer training in early 2012. Training classes will begin on Thursday, January 3rd at 9 am. They will be held every Thursday from 9 am to 12 pm through March 21st. Training will be a team effort between Pitt, Wilson, and Edgecombe Counties. Sound interesting? Well, how do you know if this program is for you? Just ask yourself these seven questions. Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants? Can I commit to ride with the group in a van for multi-county training classes? Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program? Am I willing to take an exam at the end of the class? Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community? Do I have enough time to attend all training classes and to serve as a volunteer? Can I volunteer on weekdays between 8 AM and 5 PM? If you answer all these questions yes, then you are a prime candidate.
To receive more information or an application for Extension Master Gardener Volunteer training call 252.237.0113. Application is due by December 1 and $100 class fee is due at the first class. You can find more information on the Wilson county Master Gardener Facebook page including a volunteer application that can be printed and mailed in. To speak directly to a volunteer who can tell you more about the program or answer any other gardening questions, call 252.237.0113 between 1-3 PM Monday, Wednesday or Friday or email firstname.lastname@example.org.