Learn how to become a Denton County Master Gardener Oct. 20

Pat Pape

Any Denton County resident interested in gardening and horticultural education is invited to attend the Denton County Master Gardener Association Round Up from 10:00 a.m. until noon on Tuesday, October 20, at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office in the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St. in Denton. The annual event focuses on potential new members and includes a social, refreshments and detailed information about joining the organization.

“Community members will learn about the volunteer program and how to become a Denton County Master Gardener,” said Raeline Nobles, chairperson for membership. “They’ll hear presentations and have an opportunity to talk with veteran Master Gardeners about their experiences and projects. The meeting is open to anyone with a passion for gardening and sharing their knowledge with the community.”

Denton County residents wishing to apply for the 2016 Master Gardener training program must do so by Thursday, October 22. Attending the Roundup is not required for new class members, but everyone must complete an application form, which is available online at www.dcmga.com.

Master Gardener applicants must attend 70 hours of classroom instruction taught by leading educators from around the state. Classes are held each Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. beginning February 2 and running through May 3. Classes are held at the Global Spheres Center, 7801 S. Stemmons Freeway (IH35E) in Corinth. A one-time fee of $240 for training materials is payable on the first class day.

After completing classroom training and passing the final exam, the applicant becomes a Master Gardener Intern and must fulfill 70 volunteer hours of service to the community during the 2016 calendar year. To remain active after 2016, each Master Gardener must earn a minimum of 12 hours of advanced training and volunteer at least 12 hours annually on any Master Gardener project.

“Master Gardeners provide a critical service to Denton County,” said Janice Goetz, team leader for Round Up. “They share information on science-based, sustainable gardening practices for our homes and communities that help conserve resources and add both beauty and bounty to private and public gardens.”