Do you have an interest in learning more about gardening? Would you like to meet and share with other gardeners? Do you have an interest in volunteering to provide gardening educational programs with NC Cooperative Extension? Then the Wayne County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program may be for you!
The Wayne County Cooperative Extension Office is now accepting applications to recruit new Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. An Extension Master Gardener is a volunteer for NC Cooperative Extension. Volunteers assist their local county extension office providing unbiased, research-based information to gardeners of all ages on home lawns, landscapes, and gardens. The information that Extension Master Gardener Volunteers provide are ones that guide homeowners in making practical decisions in their landscapes and gardens.
Potential volunteers should have an interest and commitment to volunteering, be available to volunteer on weekdays, willing to share their knowledge and interested in learning more about gardening. Prior gardening knowledge is not required.
Volunteers who finish the training course will be expected to complete 40 hours of volunteer service working with Wayne County Cooperative Extension and Master Gardener volunteer projects. Only then will each student earn the title of Extension Master Gardener Volunteer. To maintain this title in subsequent years, volunteers must complete 20 hours of volunteer service and 10 educational hours.
A training course will be held in 2021 on Thursdays starting March 24th through June 24th from 9am to Noon. Training classes prepare potential volunteers to answer gardening questions and diagnose common problems related to cultivating lawns, fruits and vegetables, and landscape plants. Registration cost is $85 without a handbook or $135 with a hard copy handbook.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, classes will be held virtually using Zoom. Some classes will be outdoor labs to supplement Zoom classes. Students accepted into the program will be required to have an active email address and be familiar with using Zoom and Google drive. For outdoor labs, students will be required to follow current COVID-19 guidelines by wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
The first step to becoming an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer is to stop by the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Office to pick up an application packet. The application packet will include volunteer requirements, application, and training schedule. Application deadline is March 5th.
For more information and/or to pick up an application packet, contact the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Office at 919-731-1520. Wayne County Cooperative Extension Office is located at The Maxwell Center at 3114B Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro.
Jessica Strickland is an Agriculture Extension Agent, specializing in horticulture for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County.