Want To Become a Master Gardener?

By Pam Cottingham, Bibb County Master Gardener

I thought you might be interested in the upcoming Bibb County Master Gardener class through Bibb County Extension, and I’d like to share some information with you.

The class lasts about two months and will be from roughly mid-August through mid-October.  Classes will probably be late afternoon/early evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The classes will start in late afternoon, and light supper and snacks are included (Subway, pizza, sandwiches) with registration.

I found the class to be a lot of fun. My class in 2017 took a couple of field trips as classes! One was to Petals from the Past for a plant grafting class and another to Clanton to the Chilton Research and Extension Center, where they experiment on how to grow better plants or new plants, including fruits.

Instructors will be from Auburn University, Alabama Extension, and possibly other organizations.  One of our presenters in the 2017 class was the one that developed the Birmingham Botanical Gardens!

After the classes (and you can start during the class), you will have one (1) year to record the 50 volunteer hours necessary to achieve full Master Gardener status.  Continuing education units (CEUs) can also be applied toward the 50 hours.

The only requirements are that the volunteer hours assist Extension programs, or improve the grounds of a publicly-owned facility in some way.

I enjoyed the volunteer hours as much as the classes.  I worked with the Brent-Centreville Public Library and West Blocton Public Library to plant flowers around those facilities, and I had a Bibb County High Senior help at Brent-Centreville!

Having a 2019 class is contingent on getting a minimum of 15 paid AND registered participants. This means Bibb County Extension must have at least 15 completed application forms and all payments made by the deadline of Monday, June 17.

Class leader Nelson Wynn, Regional Extension Agent in home grounds, gardens and home pests, will then schedule presenters and Bibb County Extension will secure locations for the classes. By July 31, participants will receive a class schedule.

Registration fee is $150 person, payable to Bibb County Extension Office, and includes a HUGE training book in addition to the classes, supper meal and refreshments.  Efforts are being made to provide partial scholarships, should the registration feel be an issue. No refunds of the registration fee will be made after the first class date.

From an attendance standpoint, you are allowed to miss up to two (2) classes without penalty.  Anyone who misses more than two (2) classes may continue to attend the classes, but will not be eligible for full certification as a Master Gardener.

For a Master Gardener application form and/or more information, contact the Bibb County Extension Office at 205-926-4310, or email mdh0007@aces.edu or rfd0003@aces.edu .

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

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