The West Virginia University Extension Service Master Gardener program in Harrison County is looking for people who are passionate about gardening and want their horticultural skills to be as sharp as their pruning shears.
Once enrolled as a volunteer, they will learn the science behind gardening basics, which will then be used to give back to the community in a variety of ways, including cooperative gardening and beautification projects.
“It’s a wonderful way to learn and graciously pay the knowledge forward to impact your community and surroundings,” said Mira Danilovich, WVU Extension consumer horticulture specialist and Master Gardener statewide coordinator. “We have a membership of approximately 1,500 Master Gardeners who find their efforts to be extremely rewarding.”
Danilovich said the numbers speak for themselves, citing that Master Gardeners volunteer tens of thousands of hours a year. That work reaches an average of 25,000 residents annually.
Interested gardeners will receive approximately 40 hours of indoor and outdoor instruction from the WVU Extension Service Harrison County office. Topics will touch on all the basics, including plant science, propagation and pathology; soil science; entomology; integrated pest management; vegetable and flower gardening; tree and small fruits; lawn care; indoor plants; ornamental trees and shrubs; landscaping and communication skills.
After completing the training, the Master Gardener trainees will use their newly acquired knowledge in addressing horticultural and environmental issues to attain the initial certification and the right to call themselves certified Master Gardeners. The title reflects both the level of attained knowledge and the sense of pride that comes from volunteerism.
Forty volunteer hours are required for initial certification, and can encompass a wide array of projects. There is a program fee of $100 to cover the cost of training. Applications are being accepted through Tuesday, Jan. 23. For more information and to receive an application, please contact the Harrison County WVU Extension Service office, at 304-624-8650.