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Do you have what it takes to be a Master Gardener?
Do you have what it takes to become a master gardener? It's harder than it may sound. Ron Seymour from the Adams County Extension Office spoke with News 5 about the criteria.
Amy West: How does one become a master gardener?
Ron Seymour: You have to take a class. Then you give some volunteer hours as well. We're going to start our classes on March 11th. They're going to be at the Hall County Extension Office in Grand Island. They're full day classes every other day for two weeks.
Amy: So it's a pretty big commitment.
Ron: It's a big commitment, it really is, but you learn so much. And once you've done the classes in March then you have volunteer hours that we ask people to give. And we have some professionals that want to become master gardeners. They can pay the full cost - $300 - and not do the volunteer hours. But most people kind of like that half price, come in, learn, get a whole bunch of resource materials and then interact with other master gardeners in their community.
Amy: Help give back to the community. And really at $150 for essentially what is a college class it's a bargain.
Ron: Right, and then you get things like, oh, here's something on container gardening, bee-keeping, working with the public, things about tree fruits, small fruits. There's just all kinds of different information that you can use as a gardener. A lot of folks gets so much out of it.
Amy: And are there any prerequisites to come into this?
Ron: As long as you're interested in gardening and have the time to do the classes and then also have the time to do the volunteer hours. Because we have this volunteer program that we operate throughout the year and we do lots of community projects like we teach elders about container gardening. We teach youth about putting together pots. And then we have our group work in Highland Park Arboretum planting trees and taking care of them. Just all kinds of opportunities. Then we also have some continuing education requirements that we ask people to do so it's just a great program.
Amy: It really does shift your life a little bit. Because you've said you've had people volunteering for 10-12 years now.
Ron: That's right. We've had those folks just really get so much out of it. We really try to fashion our volunteer program so that people feel like they're getting something out of it themselves as well as giving to their community. Because, you know, a lot of people really do enjoy giving to the community and helping educate other people about something they're really passionate about.
Amy: Fantastic. So we want to make sure people know where to go, when to go to get involved.
Ron: So, we'd like people to sign up ahead of time, then call the Adams County Extension Office at 461-7209 and get yourself registered. Then you pay $150 for the class and it will be in Hall County in Grand Island. People car pool so they can work it out together. It's every other day starting March 11th for two weeks. Then after that we can go into our volunteer hours throughout the summer.
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