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November 20, 2019

Master Gardener course registration has opened

Contributed Photo
Nancy Berlin teaches a new class of Master Gardenersabout water quality and the organisms that live in streams.
The Virginia Cooperative Extension has begun accepting applications for the 2020 Virginia Master Gardener Program.

Taught mostly in Warrenton, the local program is open to residents of Fauquier and Rappahannock counties.

The Master Gardener program educates and trains community residents on emerging and proven gardening and landscaping practices that preserve and protect the environment. Master Gardeners also volunteer in more than a dozen community service projects related to organic gardening, native plants and trees, vegetable gardening, healthy lawns, youth education and senior horticultural therapy.

Upcoming information sessions will provide details about the program:

• 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, and Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the extension office at 24 Pelham St., Warrenton.

• 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, in the Rappahannock County extension office at 311 J Gay St. Washington, Va.

“The extension Master Gardener program is a great way for those who share a passion for horticulture to give back to the community,” said Tim Ohlwiler, Fauquier County’s horticultural extension agent. “The program offers residents the opportunity to learn and grow as gardeners, and volunteer to make a positive impact on the environment and the quality of life in our area of Virginia.” 

The 15-week Master Gardener educational program takes place from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, starting Jan. 8 and ending in April.

Mr. Ohlwiler and other horticultural experts teach the classes, most of which meet in the Warrenton extension office. Virginia Tech and Virginia State University developed the curriculum, which covers a wide variety of horticultural topics including botany, soils and fertilizers, trees and shrubs, integrated pest management, fruit and vegetable gardening, pruning, plant propagation and lawn care.

In addition to the classroom sessions, participants also complete 50 hours of community volunteering in 2020.  Participants can choose from a range of Master Gardener community programs to select volunteer opportunities that best matches their interests.

Each year, more than 500 Virginia residents complete the program. More than 5,500 Master Gardeners participate in community horticultural programs throughout Virginia. In Fauquier County, more than 120 Master Gardeners volunteer approximately 6,000 hours annually in local programs.

The program costs $200 or $250 after Dec. 11.  The tuition covers all study materials and instructor fees. For more information on the program and available scholarship assistance, contact Mr. Ohlwiler at 540-341-7950, Ext. 3, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

More information about the local extension Master Gardener program can be found a Classroom space is limited; it is recommended to apply early.
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