Beginning October 2021, Champaign County, in partnership with Miami County, will offer a Master Gardener Volunteer hybrid training to the residents of Champaign, Miami and surrounding counties.
The Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides broad instruction in horticulture for enthusiasts of any skill level or interest who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local OSU Extension county office. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must.
In addition to the training, a Master Gardener certification will be awarded after the completion of 50 volunteer hours at OSUE-sponsored projects or approved activities of their choice.
Recent events include: Elementary butterfly larvae program, Make-it Take-it events, care of the community gardens, researching and responding to horticulture questions from the public, teaching gardening techniques to adults or children and other special projects.
There are many opportunities to obtain hours either with a “hands-in-the-dirt” group project or as a “behind-the-scenes” individual contributor supporting non-physical activities. To maintain annual certification, Master Gardener Volunteers are asked to provide at least 20 hours of service and complete at least 10 hours of continuing education annually. You will be surprised how quickly 20 hours goes once you get involved in a project you enjoy.
This program will be a blended format utilizing online, self-paced modules and in-person hands-on laboratory sessions. One laboratory will be offered monthly and participants are required to complete a minimum of seven. Laboratory examples may include visits to local nurseries, arboretums, trial gardens, turf farms, etc. Mandatory orientation dates are set for Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. (Miami) and Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. (Champaign).
The cost of the course is $200 ($50 rebate when internship is completed). Applications and course fee are due Sept. 10. Applications after the deadline are $50 extra.
You may request an application by contacting the OSU Extension Office in Champaign County at 937-484-1526 or by downloading one online at go.osu.edu/mgvapp2021. We are monitoring the current pandemic situation and will adjust as needed. Contact Amanda Douridas at [email protected] or 937-772-6012 with any questions about becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer.
You don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity to increase your horticultural knowledge, develop wonderful new friendships and share your knowledge with others
Amanda Douridas is Champaign Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator.