Master Gardener online training set
The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program plans to offer online summer training.
The new training was developed for individuals who are interested in the Master Gardener program but are unable to participate in daytime classes.
The online program is a self-paced training that is scheduled to begin June 10 and must be completed by Sept. 30.
Master Gardeners are volunteers who provide service to their community by engaging in educational outreach and addressing horticultural problems.
Master Gardeners undergo training and complete a 60-hour volunteer internship.
To remain active, Master Gardeners then complete 30 volunteer hours and 10 hours of continuing education each year.
The online training includes 13 modules, each of which consists of several captioned videos with audio.
The course topics include botany, soils, plant diseases, annuals and perennials, fruits and vegetables, among others.
A strong internet connection is highly recommended. If participants spend four hours per week on the modules, they can complete the course in 14 weeks.
U of I Extension noted that there are many opportunities to volunteer in a community.
Master Gardeners could participate in the raised bed gardening at Vienna Grade School, fill guest speaker requests about gardening topics, care for a pollinator garden or start a new volunteer project.
“We are excited that Extension has developed the online course, which opens up the possibility of new audiences being introduced to the Master Gardener program,” Extension educator Erin Medvecz said. Medvecz is the local Master Gardener coordinator for Alexander, Pulaski, Johnson, Massac and Union counties.
Those who want to begin the application process are advised to call a local Extension office or go online to http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ajmpu/mg/.
Applications must be received by May 31. Acceptance into the program will require a mandatory background check and an informal in-person interview.
The program has a $300 fee, which covers the cost of the online trainings and a Master Gardener manual.
For more information about the program, contact Medvecz at 618-833-6363.