The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 3, 2013

Extension Experts Looking for Master Gardener Trainees!

The Daily Item

— BLOOMSBURG — Do you enjoy gardening? Do you like to share gardening tips with your friends? Then become a Penn State Master Gardener says Ken Balliet, district director for Penn State Extension in the Central Susquehanna Counties. “Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by the Penn State Extension. Once they complete their training, Master Gardeners assist in Extensions role to serve the public by: answering questions, speaking to groups of all ages, helping with civic beautification projects and demonstration gardens, and in many other fun ways,” says Balliet. Master Gardeners provide technical assistance to anyone about: lawns, flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamental trees and shrubs, through the Penn State Extension offices in each county.

According to Balliet, trainees receive over 40 hours of training in topics such as soils, botany, turf grass, plant pathology, pruning, and communications. In return, trainees are asked to provide 50 hours of community service by helping staff with activities such as home horticulture hotlines, assisting in community gardens, and providing educational programs to youth, adults, or seniors. Master Gardener training classes will run each Thursday evening from Oct. 3 to March 6. The class will meet from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Extension Office in Bloomsburg. The cost of this intensive training by Penn State faculty and staff is only $175, and is fully refundable up until the second class if you withdraw.

The best way to learn more is to attend one of the “Meet and Greets” that have been scheduled for your convenience. This evening of information and hospitality is for prospective Master Gardener trainees to ask questions and get to meet some of the staff and volunteers. A short presentation will cover the basics of what the program entails. You may attend either session, or both.

Bloomsburg (Light Street) — Sept. 11, Penn State Extension Office, Ag Center, 702 Sawmill Road, Bloomsburg, from 6 to 8 p.m., (570) 784-6660

Lewisburg — Sept. 12, Union County Government Center (cafeteria), 155 S. 15th St., Lewisburg, from 6 to 8 p.m, (570) 966-8194

Registration is not required for these two events. Call (800) 851-9710 to find out more.