February 2, 2013 8:49:43 PM
You may have noticed some of the landscape projects around Columbus that have had the hand of the Lowndes County Master Gardener volunteers placed on them -- like the landscape at the downtown post office, or the reclaimed beds along the side of the YMCA, or even the front beds to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library.
Maybe you have spent time at Lee Park and noticed the containers with colorful flowers. Yes, the Master Gardeners had a hand in that, along with the newly landscaped intersection at Highway 50/373. They even installed a butterfly garden connected to the Riverwalk to be used as a teaching garden in the future. After this garden matures a little more, the group plans to hold training sessions for the public.
They not only want to install beautiful plants around Lowndes County, they want to teach others how to as well. There will be a Master Gardener Training beginning Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. Classes are on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1-5 p.m. The location of the interactive video training this year will be at the Lowndes County Extension Office at 318 Seventh St. N.
The program trains individuals who want to serve the County Extension Office as volunteers to assist in Extension horticultural programs, 4-H youth horticulture training and community service projects. Work is done under the direction of the area horticulture agent.
This program requires 40 hours of initial training given by Extension specialists. After that person has satisfactorily completed 40 hours of volunteer time in his/her county during the 12 months following, he/she will be certified as an official Extension Master Gardener volunteer.
To maintain certification in following years, individuals must attend 12 hours of advanced training and also volunteer 20 hours of service to the County Extension program annually. The Lowndes County Master Gardeners volunteer an average of more than 50 hours per year.
A fee of $85 is required to enroll (make check payable to the Lowndes County Master Gardener Volunteers), which funds the training program, materials, CD and meeting refreshments. Should circumstances prevent a participant from attending the class after registration, $50 of that fee is refundable if claimed the first week of class.
To register for the class, contact the Lowndes County Extension Office at 318 Seventh St. N., or contact Jeff Wilson at 662-328-2111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wilson is a horticulturist serving northeast Mississippi with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
Individuals who require special accommodations to participate should contact the Extension office to make their request known prior to the program. Contact should be made in a timely manner to ensure appropriate accommodations.