AMES, Iowa – Iowans who would like to expand their gardening knowledge and become community garden volunteers can do so by completing Master Gardener training this fall.
Offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Master Gardener training is designed for those who are passionate about serving their communities and sharing gardening best practices.
Applicants must apply for the training before Aug. 1, and complete the online sessions held by each participating ISU Extension and Outreach county office. All classes will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have really enjoyed offering the Master Gardener training as a hands-on experience for the past few years,” said Susan DeBlieck, Master Gardener state coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach. “While we’ll miss out on some of the hands-on learning, participants will still get to connect with people and resources in their community. “
Selected applicants must pay the class fee of $195 (due before classes start) and complete 40 hours of plant education offered in the fall, and complete a 40-hour volunteer internship by the end of 2021.
As an alternative option, those not interested in volunteering can register for the core course as a Pro-Hort trainee ($550 fee) and receive a certificate upon completion of the training.
DeBlieck said it’s unfortunate that the classes cannot be in person, but that the online format will eliminate the need for travel.
“Becoming a Master Gardener volunteer will be even more accessible for people who live far from ISU Extension and Outreach county offices and for folks who have children at home,” she said.
Some counties have already reached capacity although many remain open. To see if your county is offering the training, contact your local ISU Extension and Outreach county office.
For more information, DeBlieck can be reached at 515-294-6764, or firstname.lastname@example.org.