I hate the thought of summer coming to an end so soon, but am excited to announce another Master Gardener Training class for fall of 2015. The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program designed and sponsored by University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension to educate community members interested in gardening who, in turn, volunteer each year to further educate the public and provide community support. The first step in becoming a certified Master Gardener Volunteer is to attend the Level 1 training course. In Wood County, we try to hold one Level 1 training class per year, alternating between the Wisconsin Rapids area and the Marshfield area. This is the year we are going to be in Marshfield. The Level 1 training classes have been evolving over the years to incorporate more hands-on learning activities rather than just lecture. We are also using internet technology for better access to learning modules and state specialists located throughout Wisconsin. Participants will need to be able to access these modules on their own time. The classes will be held on Tuesday evenings, beginning in September and concluding in November. The Tuesday classes will be from 6-9pm held in the auditorium at Marshfield Ag Research Station. There will be 36 hours of training in all horticultural related subjects including fruits, vegetables, perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs, landscape design, weeds, insects, diseases, soil and plant health, composting, wildlife management, natives and invasives, houseplants, plant propagation and lawn care along with volunteer training. We always have live presenters during the class hours, and will have distance education incorporated as well for off-site learning opportunities.
The Wood County Master Gardener Association is a strong group with wonderful members passionate about gardening, community service, and education. We have many projects and activities throughout Wood County and surrounding areas that help enrich the beauty of our communities and enlighten our community members. If you would like to be part of our team, consider taking the Level 1 training. Once complete, each person is required to volunteer 24 hours of community service before you are awarded the status of Certified Master Gardener Volunteer. To maintain the certification, 24 hours of service is required each year along with 10 hours of continuing education. Most of our members achieve this amount without even having to think about it! After the Level 1 training is complete, there are more opportunities for advanced Level 2 trainings on specific topics. We have educational events at all of our monthly meetings along with garden tours and socialization with fellow members.
If interested in participating in the Level 1 training and joining this dynamic group of volunteers, please register with the Wood County Extension office. Our registration brochure is available at the link below or call 715-421-8440 and we can send you information. We also require the background check form and volunteer agreement form to be sent in at the time of registration. The fee for the Level 1 training class is going to be $135 per person and includes all training materials and handouts. Registration is open until August 27th. The classes will begin Tuesday, September 8th but you must be registered by August 27th to attend.