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Master Gardener program takes applications

If you love gardening and sharing your knowledge with others, consider becoming a Master Gardener volunteer in collaboration with North Dakota State University Extension.

The NDSU Extension Master Gardener program is a volunteer service organization that beautifies communities, educates the public about gardening, works with youth and encourages conservation of natural resources.

The next Master Gardener training program will run for 10 weeks beginning Jan. 24 and ending April 3, 2020. Classes will not be held on March 20.

The majority of participants will take the class online. Online classes are live Friday mornings or recordings can be viewed at any time.

Area counties accepting applications for the Core Course are Bottineau, McLean, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville, Ward, Wells and Williams. Application deadline is Nov. 18.

Application forms are available at ag.ndsu.edu/mastergardener/.

Course topics include annual and perennial flowers, tree selection and maintenance, soil health, composting, pollinator plants, plant diseases and insects, vegetable and fruit production and lawn maintenance. NDSU faculty and Extension personnel teach the classes.

Once participants complete the training, they are known as Master Gardener interns. They must volunteer 48 hours of time during a two-year period on horticultural projects in cooperation with NDSU Extension to become certified as Master Gardeners.

Potential volunteer projects include answering gardening questions in the Extension office, organizing horticultural workshops, managing school and community gardens, designing and maintaining pollinator gardens and providing horticultural therapy.

Tuition for the 2020 class is $225 plus a background check fee of $35 for those wishing to become a certified Extension Master Gardener or $450 for the nonvolunteer option. High-speed internet access, computer knowledge and an email account are required.

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