Volunteer as Master Gardener; open to county residents only

By Robert Hamilton….
Do you have spare time to volunteer? Do you like plants and want to learn more about gardening? Do you like to help others by sharing your gardening knowledge? Become a Master Gardener volunteer for Miami-Dade County Extension. Join this elite group of dedicated gardeners who help others solve their plant problems.

Preview sessions of what this program is about are Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. and Aug. 9 at 10 am at the UF Miami-Dade Extension office in Homestead. Each preview session lasts one and one half to two hours. You need to attend only one of these previews. This program is for Miami-Dade County residents only as each county has its own Master Gardener program.

Through the Master Gardener training program, participants receive more than 70 hours of classroom and field training from University of Florida faculty. You’ll learn about: flower and vegetable gardening, fruit trees, insects, disease and plant identification, landscape care, proper pesticide and fertilizer use, and more.

Master Gardeners are individuals who are interested in gardening, educating and helping others, and making civic contributions through volunteer work. They help answer gardening questions on the phone at the Extension office, help establish demonstration and school gardens, are plant consultants at local events, and more. Even if you aren’t physically able to do much gardening, there still are plenty of volunteer opportunities for you.

Once you are selected to take the Master Gardener training, you will be notified about the class schedule. Classroom training is one day during the work week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and lasts for 11-12 weeks, beginning in September. Volunteering opportunities are at the Homestead office and at other selected sites throughout the county.

Contact Patty for an application at 305-248-3311, ext. 225, or write to: UF/Miami-Dade County Extension, 18710 SW 288 St., Homestead, FL 33030. Visit the website at http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn_and_garden/master_gardener.shtml.

For information on Florida friendly landscaping, visit the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods website at www.greenyardsmiami.blogspot.com.

The Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension is a partnership of the Miami-Dade Consumer Services Department and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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