Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Registration Open for Online Master Gardener Classes

Master Gardener volunteers perform a variety of community service duties, including helping the Mississippi State University Extension Service staff educational events. This Master Gardener was helping in a raised bed garden in Pearl River County in 2020. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Michaela Parker)

If you have a green thumb and love the feel of soil between your fingers, becoming a Master Gardener might be the next right step on your gardening journey.

Registration has begun for the newest class of Master Gardeners, who will receive their training online this year.

Master Gardeners are expert volunteers trained and certified in consumer horticulture and related areas by the Mississippi State University Extension Service. In exchange for 40 hours of educational training, participants are required to return 40 hours of volunteer service within one year of their training.

This year, all Master Gardener instruction is online and self-paced. The class begins May 1 and closes June 30.

The cost is $125 for those who want to become certified Master Gardener volunteers and provide 40 hours of service. For $200, a home-gardening course is available for those not interested in the volunteer service. Non-volunteer participants can pay $25 per class for select classes if they prefer. These individual classes are available year-round.

Registration is open until April 15. Register for the training and learn more about the Master Gardener program at http://msuext.ms/mg.

After the first year’s 40-hour community service requirement is met, Master Gardeners continue to receive training and log a minimum of 20 community service hours a year to maintain their certified status. Projects they work on support their local county Extension offices and benefit their communities.

The volunteer work of Master Gardeners helps the local Extension office reach a broader audience than is possible with existing Extension agents. Volunteers help extend the educational arm of the university to the public by providing horticultural information based on university research and recommendations.

Master Gardener volunteers experience the personal satisfaction of serving their community, gaining horticultural expertise and connecting with their local gardening community.

For disability accommodation or questions about the Master Gardener program, please contact Jeff Wilson at 662-566-8019 or jeff.wilson@msstate.edu.

Staff report