Penn State Extension to Train New Master Gardeners

The Penn State University will be training new Master Gardeners in Berks County in the fall of 2019.Applications are being accepted from now through April 16 for the 16-week course that begins in mid-August and runs through mid-December. Interested parties should contact Penn State Extension for details of the application procedure.

The title Master Gardener entails a job description to extend the knowledge and resources of Penn State University’s College of Agriculture to the general public.Candidates are trained as horticultural educators and must have good interpersonal skills as well as a strong interest in gardening.

Master Gardener candidates are trained by Penn State staff in a wide range of horticultural topics, with a three-hour lecture each week.Following their training, students are required to contribute 50 hours of volunteer work to Master Gardener projects to complete their certification.In subsequent years, Master Gardeners must contribute 20 volunteer hours plus 10 hours of advanced education annually to maintain their certification.

This year the lectures will be offered on Wednesday mornings, 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon, from August 14 through December 4, and will be shared with gardeners from Schuylkill County.Several of the classes will be held at the Schuylkill County Extension Office in Pottsville and the remainder will be held at the Berks County Ag Center in Leesport.Students are expected to attend all lectures to fulfill the trainingrequirement. There is a $200 fee for the course, which includes a copy of the nationally-acclaimed Penn State Master Gardener Manual.Limited financial aid is available.

Class size is limited.Selection is based on specific skills needed to support current projects and on achieving a mix of students who can cover the program’s varied missions. The application process includes an entrance exam and an interview.

There will be two Meet the Master Gardener sessions for potential candidates to explore the program and to visit with veteran volunteers, Tuesday, April 9, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Friday, April 12, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.Both sessions are held at the Berks County Ag Center, 1237 County Welfare Road, Leesport (Bern Township).

For more information, contact Beth Finlay at Penn State Extension, 610-378-1327, elf3@psu.edu .

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Beth Finlay at 610-378-1327-1327 in advance of your participation or visit.

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Jo Mercer

Jo Mercer

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