LAPORTE | A Master Gardener training program will be offered in La Porte County beginning Thursday, September 12, 2013, and continuing until December 12 on Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Central Time. The classes will be held at the Purdue Extension – La Porte County office on State Road 2 near the county fairgrounds in La Porte.
The purpose of the Purdue Master Gardener Program is to teach people more about growing plants and to more effectively share information related to plants with others. Its specific aim is to provide information and technical assistance in the areas of gardening and home horticulture through the use of trained and certified volunteers.
The Purdue Master Gardener Program is an integral part of Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and provides citizens of Indiana a chance to grow. The program provides a learning framework for participants to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects. In turn, participants volunteer, representing Purdue University. They help others grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within their communities.
To become a Purdue Master Gardener, those interested are asked to complete an application form and return it to the LaPorte County Extension Office right away (enrollment is limited). After being accepted for training, one must attend a series of weekly classes, each lasting 3 hours. Upon completing the required training and passing the exam with 70% success, one achieves the rank of Master Gardener Intern. Master Gardener Interns are required to volunteer, representing Purdue University, a minimum of 35 hours to be certified as a Purdue Master Gardener. Then, to maintain Master Gardener certification, each year Master Gardeners volunteer just 12 hours and attend 6 hours of educational training.
Participants in the Master Gardener class pay a registration fee of $200 for the training program, which includes a Master Gardener name badge, a newly published training manual in both print and electronic versions, a flash drive with hundreds of Purdue University reference materials, mailings, and opportunities to network with other Master Gardeners. The training is fun, it’s interesting, and one meets many people who love gardening.
For more information about the Master Gardener Program or about attending the current Master Gardener class, please contact the Purdue Extension – La Porte County office at 219-324-9407 or visit www.ag.purdue.edu/counties/laporte and link to “Master Gardeners” under “Local Links.” Then click on “Master Gardener Application;” the application should be completed, signed and returned by Thursday, August 15, 2013 to Purdue Extension – La Porte County, 2857 W. State Road 2, Suite A, La Porte, IN 46350.