The application period is open for Master Gardener training in Kent and Sussex Counties at the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices.
Following a 12-week training program with day-time classes alternating between the two county Extension offices, the trainees will volunteer a minimum of 45 hours during their first year before becoming official Master Gardeners. Training is held every other year in the fall. Sessions for the Class of 2013 will begin in September, right after Labor Day, and will be completed before Thanksgiving.
Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. Master Gardeners are part of a vibrant community of individuals dedicated to growing a greener Delaware, with a more bio-diverse and sustainable environment. They extend the home garden outreach of Delaware Cooperative Extension, staffing garden "hotlines" for much of the year, offering information at events such as community fairs, festivals and farmers' markets, talking to local civic groups and working with youth groups and schools. Many provide workshops on favorite garden topics and are available through a speakers' bureau to make presentations for community groups upon request. A dedicated group of puppeteers in Sussex County perform an educational version of "Peter Rabbit" for children of all ages.
The training program includes formal lectures, discussion sessions, tours, workshops, and problem-solving sessions. Advanced training opportunities include state, regional and national workshops, lectures at monthly business meetings, special training sessions, and the shared experiences of a group of skilled, experienced gardeners.
The application is available at http://extension.udel.edu. Send completed applications to: Kent County Extension Office, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, Del. 19901, by June 1.
For more information, call (302) 856-2585, ext. 544 in Sussex County, or (302) 857-6426 in Kent County.