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Master gardener course offered in 2020
Clark MacCallister

If you are at all interested in gardening, you may have heard the term Master Gardener. You might have even met some of them in our local community. So just what is a Master Gardener? Contrary to popular belief, these folks are not all garden “experts”, but rather local volunteers that help out the local Extension office with service projects with gardening and natural resources themes.

Master Gardener Extension Volunteers are made up of people from many ages and abilities. Many who take the training class are novice gardeners, while others are seasoned plant lovers. Anyone who sits through the courses will learn something to enrich their own gardening skills.

We will be offering a Master Gardener training course in 2020 at Dawson County Fire Station #2, off Hwy 53 beside the Tractor Supply. The entire course costs $125, which includes the Master Gardener Handbook. Classes will run every Wednesday from 9:00am-3:00pm between January 22, 2020 and March 25, 2020. Classes will be taught by UGA Extension professionals and others skilled in the various gardening techniques.

Applications are available at the Dawson County Extension office, located at 298 Academy Avenue, or by emailing uge1085@uga.edu. Anyone interested will be required to fill out an application form and complete a background check from through the University of Georgia. Since UGA is affiliated with the Master Gardener program, all volunteers need to be screened, and many of our volunteer activities involve children.

Classes offered include a wide range of gardening and landscape topics, including soils and fertility, plant identification, insects and diseases, landscape design, pruning, lawn maintenance and selection, and many more. It’s a great deal of information for only $125.

All participants in the course must pledge to donate 50 hours of their spare time to help with Master Gardener projects in the first year after their initial training. This may seem like a lot, but we have many projects available to help with, and the hours build up quickly for most people. After that, 25 hours of service are required annually to maintain your active status as a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer.

Whether you are an avid gardener or have never dug a hole in your life, consider joining us for the Master Gardener training class next year. You will certainly receive a good education on gardening topics, and you will also meet some great people who are already involved in the program.

For more information on the Master Gardener training course being held in 2020, please contact Clark MacAllister at 706-265-2442, or reach me by email at uge1085@uga.edu. Applications are due in to the Dawson County Extension Office by Oct. 21.