Garden News: Louisiana Masters Gardner Program offers lots of volunteer opportunities

Garden News: Louisiana Masters Gardner Program offers lots of volunteer opportunities

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You’ve probably heard about the Louisiana Master Gardener Program. But do you know exactly what it is and what it does?

Master Gardener is a volunteer program working with the LSU AgCenter horticulture extension programs as well as with home gardeners.

While the primary focus is volunteering in the arena of home horticultural education, no previous gardening experience is necessary. There is a job for everyone, from office workers to handymen, from energetic presenters to quiet worker bees, from scientists to artists. All talents can be put to use to help beautify our neighborhoods and city while maintaining a sustainable and eco-friendly approach.

Master Gardener trains its volunteers to provide proven, research-based educational programs to residents. Since its inception in 1994, more than 3,600 people have participated in the program to become certified Louisiana Master Gardeners.

To learn about the program, attend a volunteer orientation session at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the Ione Burden Conference Center, 4560 Essen Lane.

The Master Gardener training class for East Baton Rouge Parish will begin July 10 and end in mid-September. Classes will be held every Tuesday and Thursday beginning at 9 a.m. and running to no later than 1 p.m.

Training sessions will include, among others, botany, propagation, soils, diseases, annuals, shrubs, trees, vegetables, insects, pesticides, lawn care and weed control.

If you are accepted into the training program and complete the course, you will be required to provide 40 volunteer hours in the first year and 20 volunteer hours plus six continuing educational hours in subsequent years to remain a Louisiana Master Gardener. You will be considered an apprentice Master Gardener until you reach your 40 volunteer hours.

The cost of the course is $250, which covers the manual, name badge, certificates, coffee and snacks.

If interested, email Lee Rouse at lrouse@agcenter.lsu.edu or call (225) 578-2413 or (225) 389-3056.

If you can’t join Master Gardeners, there are other opportunities to get involved. The LSU AgCenter’s Botanic Gardens at Burden is always looking for help in the gardens, involvement in the community and other outdoors activities. Visit lsuagcenter.com/botanicgardens, call (225) 763-3990 or email botanicgardens@agcenter.lsu.edu. Volunteer opportunities include Thursdays in the Garden, receptionist, children’s field trip docent and trail masters.

Got a question?

Email gardennews@agcenter.lsu.edu



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