The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 2, 2012

Master Gardener classes begin in January


Herald Staff Report

DEWITT — Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who share a love of gardening, an enthusiasm for learning and a commitment to helping others.

“What really sets them apart from other home gardeners is their commitment to learning and sharing what they learn with others,” said Mark Schroeder, master gardener coordinator.

Master Gardener trainees attend 40 hours of classes taught by Iowa State University Extension staff and specialists in topics ranging from lawn care, flower and vegetable gardening, ornamental trees, shrubs, fruit crops and house plants to insect, disease and weed control, soil and plant nutrition and pesticide safety.

In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer 40 hours of service to their local extension program.

“The service opportunities are wide ranging,” Schroeder said. Master Gardeners answer telephone requests for gardening information, staff plant clinics or displays, speak to local groups, teach youth, provide horticulture therapy activities for the elderly and supervise or judge county fair horticulture activities as judges or project coordinators.

Classes for Clinton County Master Gardeners will begin at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 15 with a meet and greet. Regular classes will begin Jan. 22 and continue for 12 consecutive Tuesdays.

Classes will be from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Iowa State University Extension office in DeWitt, 400 E. 11th St.

The deadline to sign up for classes is Dec. 27 for the early bird special, $150, or by Jan. 27 for $175.