Master Gardener deadline approaching

SUN columnist

Oct. 21 — 6 p.m., 4-H Council meeting.

Master Gardener

The Colorado Master Gardener program in Pagosa Springs is taking applications until Nov. 17 for the winter/spring 2009 class, which will be taught at the Archuleta County Extension Office starting Feb. 5 and running through April 16 or 23.

Those accepted to the program receive 11 weeks of training in plant care and have the opportunity to work with other gardeners from Pagosa Springs to volunteer in the community.

The Colorado Master Gardener program is ideal for gardeners who wish to increase their knowledge of horticulture and help others learn the joy of successful gardening.

In addition to receiving training from Colorado State University professors, specialists and horticulture agents, master gardeners learn on the job as they perform 50 hours of volunteer work during the growing season.

Volunteers help the community by answering questions on garden care and provide education through teaching classes, writing news articles, working with special audiences and maintaining demonstration sites. Statewide, the value placed on the time donated by the 1,800-plus master gardeners is more than $1.3 million.

The Colorado Master Gardener program also can be a stepping stone toward a career in horticulture.

Recognized by the green industry as a great vocational education course, the Colorado Master Gardener program is open to persons within and outside of the professional growing area. Many people considering a career in the green industry start with master gardener training as an all-around introduction to advanced plant care.

If gaining knowledge and helping others through horticulture is of interest to you, the Colorado Master Gardener program is an ideal volunteer choice.

Contact the Colorado State University Extension office in Pagosa Springs at 264-5931 for more information or an application.

Our classes are held in conjunction with Extension in LaPlata County, with half of the classes held in Durango.

We are in session from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an hour for lunch.

Cost is $180 and includes two Colorado Master Gardener reference notebooks.

I look forward to hearing from all who are interested and encourage you to join this fun group of hard working volunteers.

Check out our Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and information.