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Master Gardeners accepting applications

MONTOURSVILLE — Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lycoming County is now accepting applications for the 2020 Penn State Master Gardener program. This program consists of a volunteer training course designed to provide experienced home gardeners with information and skills necessary to share their experience and knowledge with others and in the community.

Why are people interested in becoming a master gardener?

“I initially was interested in becoming a master gardener so I could learn more about gardening and was especially excited about the evidence-based point of view,” said Daryl Kern, master gardener of 15 years. “I get to share gardening information, teach and develop programs, try out new ideas, but most of all it’s the comradeship and wonderful people I have met along the way that keeps me involved.”

The Lycoming County Master Gardener training program will be held 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 26. All other classes will be on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will run through Feb. 25, 2021.

Penn State Cooperative Agricultural Educators, Program assistants and master gardeners will lead sessions on various topics by webinars which will be required “at home” viewing along with weekly readings from the Master Gardener manual. Hands-on activities will be provided as part of the training. Classes will be held at the Lycoming County Extension Office, 542 County Farm Road.

In exchange for over 40 hours of instruction, candidates must agree to volunteer 50 hours to the Penn State Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners program. Volunteer activities currently carried out by master gardeners in Lycoming County include upkeep and programming in the sensory garden and demonstration gardens, working with community groups, the annual Garden Fest, presentations on various gardening topics for local schools, groups and organizations, programming sponsored by the Master Gardeners, such as composting, rain barrels and pollinator gardens, perennial plant sale and answering questions for the garden hotline.

There is a program fee of $200 to cover the cost of training materials and expenses. Applications are being accepted through Aug. 17.

For more information, call 570-433-3040 or visit http://extension.psu.edu/plants/master-gardener/join.

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