DALY: Gwinnett Extension accepting applications for Master Gardener Extension volunteer program

Timothy Daly

Timothy Daly

The Gwinnett Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program is a program offered through Gwinnett County Cooperative Extension. The Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program was started in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1979 as a means of extending the educational outreach of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers serve many roles in aiding the local county extension office in the delivery of horticultural educational programs and information out to the community.

Perhaps you would be interested in becoming a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer? To do so, you need to complete an application. When accepted into the program, you will be required to complete a series of classes taught by experts covering many different topics related to gardening and the environment such as landscape design, plant propagation, lawn care, and plant identification. The classes meet from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. one day a week for 13 weeks, starting in early January and running to the end of March. Class participants will be required to pass a mid-term and final exam on the material covered.

As part of the program, each person is required to complete 50 hours of volunteering service within one year of training. Volunteers are involved in many different activities including environmental gardening demonstrations, plant clinics at local garden centers, phone and site consultations, information booths at local farmers markets and festivals, and a multitude of other opportunities. Afterwards, each Master Gardener Extension Volunteer must complete 25 hours of volunteer work per year to maintain their status.

Interested Gwinnett residents have the opportunity to become a Gwinnett County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer. The Gwinnett Extension Service is accepting applications for the program until Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 for the 2014 class. Before applying, ask yourself this question: “Will you be able to commit to the volunteer requirements after finishing the classes?”

One aspect that unites all Master Gardeners is a desire to help people. You do not have to be an excellent gardener since we will provide the necessary training. The program offers many enriching and rewarding opportunities in serving the community. You just need a sharing heart and a desire to help others.

If the description of the Master Gardener program is of interest to you, consider applying. For an application, go to the following website http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/gwinnett/anr/index.html. The application is available for download under the heading “Information on Becoming a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer. Also, one can be sent to you by contacting Timothy Daly at 678-377-4010 or tdaly@uga.edu.

Timothy Daly is an agricultural and natural resource agent with the Gwinnett County Extension Service. He can be reached at 678-377-4010 or tdaly@uga.edu.