By JEFF BURBINK
Extension Educator, Purdue Extension Elkhart County
GOSHEN — Applications for the fall 2016 Elkhart County Master Gardener program are now available. The deadline for submitting an application is 4:30 p.m. Friday, August 5. The Purdue University Extension Service in Elkhart County sponsors the program.
Master Gardeners is much more than a series of classes. It is a volunteer training program, with the goal of making our community a better place to live. Those accepted into the program receive training on various gardening and horticulture subjects, and in exchange for the training, they donate volunteer hours back to the community.
In past years, Master Gardeners have participated in numerous activities in our community, including coordinating the local Garden Tour, speaking to a number of community groups, helping at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, and assisting with community garden projects.
Being a Master Gardener requires a commitment of time and energy. I have found that the people who successfully complete the Master Gardener program not only enjoy learning about gardening, but they also truly love to help other people. If you are simply interested in learning more about gardening, Master Gardeners may not be to your liking.
The cost of the program is $175 per person. Class size is limited to 32 people. Classes will be on 16 Tuesdays, beginning August 16, then switching to first three Thursdays of December at the close of the course. Hours for the classes are from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Classes are taught by Purdue University Extension professionals, local experts or certified Master Gardeners and are held at the Elkhart County Extension Office on the 4-H fairgrounds in Goshen. More details about the training program are included with the application.
Applications are available in Goshen at the Purdue Extension Office is located on the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds at 17746 County Road 34. The application is on our website. For more information about Master Gardeners, contact the Purdue Extension Office in Elkhart County at 533-0554.