Become an Extension Master Gardener volunteer

Wayne County Master Gardener volunteers help others learn more about gardening.
Wayne County Master Gardener volunteers help others learn more about gardening.
PHOTO/JESSICA STRICKLAND
Posted

Do you have an interest in learning more about gardening? Would you like to meet and share with other gardeners? Do you have an interest in volunteering to provide gardening educational programs with the N.C. Cooperative Extension? Then, the Wayne County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program may be for you.

The Wayne County Cooperative Extension Office is now accepting applications to recruit new Master Gardener volunteers. An Extension Master Gardener is a volunteer for the N.C. Cooperative Extension. Volunteers assist their local county extension office providing unbiased, research-based information to gardeners of all ages on home lawns, landscapes and gardens. The information that Extension Master Gardener volunteers provide are ones that guide homeowners in making practical decisions in their landscapes and gardens.

Potential volunteers should have an interest and commitment to volunteering, be available to volunteer on weekdays, willing to share their knowledge and interested in learning more about gardening. Prior gardening knowledge is not required.

Volunteers, who finish the training course, will be expected to complete 40 hours of volunteer service working with Wayne County Cooperative Extension and Master Gardener volunteer projects. Only then will each student earn the title of Extension Master Gardener Volunteer. To maintain this title in subsequent years, volunteers must complete 20 hours of volunteer service and 10 educational hours.

A training course will be held in 2021 on Thursdays starting March 24 through June 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. Training classes prepare potential volunteers to answer gardening questions and diagnose common problems related to cultivating lawns, fruits and vegetables and landscape plants. The cost for registration is $85 without a handbook or $135 with a hard copy handbook.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, classes will be held virtually using Zoom. Some classes will be outdoor labs to supplement Zoom classes. Students accepted into the program will be required to have an active email address and be familiar with using Zoom and Google drive. For outdoor labs, students will be required to follow current COVID-19 guidelines by wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

The first step to becoming an Extension Master Gardener volunteer is to stop by the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Office to pick up an application packet.

The application packet will include volunteer requirements, application and a training schedule. The application deadline is March 5.

For more information and/or to pick up an application packet, contact the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Office at 919-731-1520. Wayne County Cooperative Extension Office is located at The Maxwell Center at 3114B Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro.

Jessica Strickland is an agriculture extension agent, specializing in horticulture for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County.

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