ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Master Gardener Program is accepting new volunteer members for the class of 2013. Applications will be accepted through August 23, 2013. A program preview meeting will be held on August 14, at 2 p.m. and repeated at 6:30 p.m., at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).
Topics will include the various activities and opportunities that Master Gardeners are involved in. At this preview, a “Sprouting Kit” (information outlying the roles, responsibilities and functions of Master Gardener Volunteers), will be available for review. After attending the preview session, candidates will need to fill out an on-line application which will be due by August 23.
The class of 24 students will be selected by September 2, 2013, and will be notified of acceptance at that time. The first Master Gardener class will begin on September 26, and will continue through December 3 (classes will meet mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays; however, a few Wednesdays will also be included). All classes are held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office. These classes include lectures and group activities, field trips, site visits, and weekly quizzes and final exam.
Master Gardeners are citizens helping citizens who:
· Improve the efficiency of the Extension Service and allow agents to develop proactive programs.
· Extend practical applications of IFAS-based research on gardening in Florida.
· Learn and share principles and practices of environmental horticulture.
· Volunteer to promote environmental awareness at a broad level.
· Serve as ambassadors of goodwill for the County and the State of Florida.
Ideal applicants are:
· Committed to volunteering and able to communicate horticulture knowledge with diverse people in Alachua County.
· Available to spend time volunteering, attending monthly meetings, field trips and training sessions.
· Gardening enthusiasts and have a desire to learn and practice environmentally-friendly horticulture methods and share this information with others.
· Eager to learn horticulture by actively participating in an intensive two month training program and committed to lifelong learning continuing education activities.
The class registration fee is $120.00, which includes: a flash drive containing all the commonly used publications and resources for the Master Gardener program, textbooks, reference books, class handouts and hands-on material. Class instruction, demonstrations and hands-on activities are free to those who commit to the volunteer obligation.
To maintain a certification as a Master Gardener, individuals are expected to:
· Volunteer a minimum of 75 hours the first year and 35 hours in following years.
· Complete at least 10 hours of continuing education/training per year.
Visit the Master Gardener website or the Extension Office website.
RSVP for one of the August 14 preview meetings by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, call the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office at 352-955-2402.
An Equal Opportunity Institution. Extension Service, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Nick T. Place, Dean. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida residents from county Extension offices. Information about alternate formats is available from IFAS Communications, University of Florida, PO Box 110810, Gainesville, FL 32611-0810.