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Master Gardeners class slated

The WVU Extension Virtual Master Gardener class will begin on Feb. 18 and will run every Thursday starting at 6 p.m. until June 10. Registration closes today.

Over the course of the 17-week online training program, you will receive 51 hours of instruction in a variety of topics, including botany, plant propagation, entomology, pesticides and pest management, plant disease, soil science and nutritional management, turfgrass management, vegetable gardening, tree fruits, small fruit, pruning, landscape design, woody ornamentals, indoor plants, herbaceous plants and garden wildlife management.

The program helps residents better understand horticultural and environmental issues through community engagement in gardening and beautification projects at schools, parks, public institutions, community organizations, and locations throughout the state.

How do you join?

The first step is to contact your county office and ask about the training program. Under normal circumstances, the WVU Extension Master Gardener Program is offered through our local WVU Extension Service offices. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the training program has been migrated to an online platform. You will still need to contact your local WVU Extension Service office to go over the registration, fees, paperwork and how to get the manuals. You will be required to complete WVU Extension’s vetting process that consists of a background check, reference checks, and two learning modules.

From there, pass a test and complete 40 hours of initial volunteer work and you’ll have earned the right to call yourself a WVU Extension Master Gardener.

Benefits of becoming a WVU Extension Master Gardener

Among the many benefits for getting involved with the WVU Extension Master Gardener program, here are the highest-ranking ones:

• Getting to know more about gardening and horticulture to expand personal horizons and be able to help others

• Significant improvements in quality of life, including physical activity, social activity, self-esteem and nutrition

• Offers opportunities for professional development through continuing training opportunities

• Meeting like-minded people and engaging in the garden activities you are passionate about

• Opportunities to assume responsibility

• Encourages individual independence

• Gaining respect in the community for your newly developed horticultural skills

• Flexibility to conduct volunteer work

For more information contact your local county office at: Barbour – 457-3254; Randolph – 304-636-2455; Tucker – 304-478-2949; Upshur – 304-473-4208.

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