Register Aug. 15 for fall Master Gardener classes

Published 1:53 pm Thursday, August 5, 2021

By Bonnie Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

Gardeners who want to give back to their communities can take advantage of an online training opportunity to hone their skills this fall.

Registration opens Aug. 15 and ends Sept. 15 for the newest class of Master Gardeners. These expert volunteers are trained and certified in consumer horticulture and related areas by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

“In exchange for 40 hours of educational training, participants return 40 hours of volunteer service within one year of their training,” said Jeff Wilson, Extension horticulture specialist and state coordinator of the Master Gardener program.

This year, all Master Gardener instruction is online and self-paced. The current class begins Oct. 1 and closes Nov. 30.

The cost is $125 for those who want to become certified Master Gardener volunteers and provide 40 hours of service.

For $200, a home-gardening course is available for those not interested in the volunteer service component. A third option is to pay $25 per class for select classes. These classes are available year-round and do not require volunteering.

Register for the training and learn more about the Master Gardener program at http://msuext.ms/mg.

A community benefits in many ways from its local Master Gardeners. After the first year’s 40-hour community service requirement is met, Master Gardeners continue to receive training and log a minimum of 20 community service hours a year to maintain their certified status.

The volunteer work of Master Gardeners helps local Extension offices reach a broader audience than is possible through just the efforts of Extension agents. Volunteers also extend the educational arm of the university to the public by providing horticultural information based on university research and recommendations.

“Master Gardener volunteers experience the personal satisfaction of serving their community, gaining horticultural expertise and connecting with their local gardening community,” Wilson said.

MSU is an equal opportunity institution. For disability accommodation or questions about the Master Gardener program, contact Jeff Wilson at 662-566-8019 or jeff.wilson@msstate.edu.

Photo: Registration is about to begin for the next class of Master Gardeners, a program offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Eileen Hollander of Pearl River County is one of the expert volunteers in this service organization. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)