Come grow with us: become an Extension Master Gardener

If you have an interest in plants and gardening and would enjoy sharing that interest with others, come grow with us.   Become a University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener in Chisago County.  Applications in Chisago County are being accepted now until Oct. 15, (in some counties the deadline is earlier).

Individuals selected for the program begin an internship that starts with the Master Gardener Core Course training that begins Jan. 13, 2014.  The course can be taken online, in-person on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus or through a blend of the two.  Instructors are University of Minnesota Extension educators and faculty.

Following the course, interns will complete 50 hours of volunteer time in the first year working with local Master Gardeners on a variety of projects that educate the public about gardening and horticulture.  Participants might answer plant questions by phone or in an information booth, write a newspaper column, or make a presentation to a community group.  The primary projects in Chisago County include: information booths at many events across the county, teaching classes to groups of adults and/or youth, writing news articles for the local papers, and so much more.

After completing the internship, participants become certified University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners.  To remain certified in following years, Master Gardeners must contribute at least 25 hours of volunteer service annually.

The fee for the Master Gardener Core Course is $275.  Partial reimbursement (call the local contact to learn more about these opportunities) is available from some counties master gardener programs following completion of the 50 volunteer hours.  Becoming a Master Gardener is also a great opportunity to meet people in the community who have similar interests.

For an application packet and more information, call the following U of MN Extension Master Gardener Coordinators or Master Gardeners.  In Pine County, contact Terry Salmela at 1-800-657-3813 Ext. #3 or 612-390-3149 at the Courthouse in Pine City.  In Isanti County, contact Les Anderson at 763-689-8254 at the Courthouse in Cambridge.  In Chisago County contact Sue Humble at 651-277-0151 at the Extension office in North Branch.  In Kanabec County contact Master Gardener Donna Sternberg at 612-325-0619. In Mille Lacs County contact Master Gardener Sandra Bronson at 763-389-3365. Check out more information about the training and the Extension Master Gardener program at www.mg.umn.edu.

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