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Individuals must complete 13 weeks of training to become a Master Gardener. CONTRIBUTED

Register now to train as Master Gardener

MADISON COUNTY – Individuals interested in horticulture methods, principles of botany and just enjoy ‘getting their hands dirty’ can enroll in the Tri-County Master Gardener Course.

The 2020 Spring Tri-County Master Gardener Class is offered with the Tri-County Extension Program open to Madison, Morgan and Limestone counties. An individual must complete the 13-week training course to become a Master Gardener.

Classes will meet from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays at the Tennessee Valley Research Station in Belle Mina. The station’s mailing address is 9494 Experimental Loop in Madison. Class members will enjoy a potluck lunch each week.

Application deadline is Jan. 23. Course fee is $150 and includes an 18-chapter handbook for volunteer training.

Participants will learn how to grow a healthy landscape or vegetable garden and ways to serve the community. Working together, gardeners support projects like “Lunch and Learn” sessions, community gardens and “Harvest for Health” in the three-county area.

Pre-registration cost is $150, due by Jan. 28. Late registration is $175.

For a sample syllabus, visit mg.aces.edu/tricounty/category/syllabus/. To download the course application, visit mg.aces.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2019/01/ANR-1155.pdf.

Alabama Cooperative Extension System administers the Alabama Master Gardener Program as an educational outreach initiative. “We do this to increase an environmental awareness and enhance the development of an environmental ethic in the citizens of Alabama,” Master Gardener publicist Nareatha Studdard said.

A set of minimum certification requirements apply for receiving the Alabama Master Gardener certificate:

* Background forms — Applicants must submit necessary forms for a background check and receive approval from the extension system before volunteering.

* Classroom training — All students must attend 40 to 50 hours of training and instruction as specified in the host location.

* Scoring — Each student must achieve an average passing score on all tests.

* Volunteering — Students must report to the Alabama Extension System to give a minimum of 50 hours of extension-approved volunteer service.

Students must mail the application and fee to Rhonda Britton, Madison County Extension Office, 819 Cook Ave., Huntsville AL 35801. After completing volunteer hours, individuals receive certification as an Alabama Master Gardener during a graduation ceremony.

For more information, call 877-252-4769 or visit mg.aces.edu.

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