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Master Gardener Volunteer training offered this summer

STEUBENVILLE — The Ohio State University Extension office of Jefferson County is accepting new applications for the Master Gardener Volunteer training program for residents of Jefferson and Harrison counties.

The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local OSU Extension county office.

Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge, but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must, according to Erika Lyon, agriculture and natural resources educator, OSU Extension Jefferson and Harrison counties.

Working with county Extension personnel, Master Gardener Volunteers provide educational services to their communities such as answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics; coordinating gardening educational activities with the public; and developing community or demonstration gardens.

New this year is that the 2021 Master Gardener Volunteer training will consist of online modules, hands-on labs and tours and either a writing or presentation project. Online modules cover topics including botany, soils, entomology, plant pathology, plant propagation, pest management, ornamentals, fruit and vegetable production, backyard wildlife, pollinators, lawns and therapeutic horticulture.

Interns are expected to attend orientation and a minimum of five labs but can pick and choose either by topic or date that best fits into their schedule.

The in-person sessions are:

* July 12, 5-8 p.m., Master Gardener Volunteer orientation and teaching skills lab;

* July 22, 5-8 p.m., garden soils lab;

* July 27, 1-4 p.m., plant diagnostics lab;

* Aug. 5, 5-8 p.m., propagation methods lab;

* Aug. 9, 1-4 p.m., fruit production lab;

* Aug. 11, 5-8 p.m., fruit production lab;

* Aug. 12, 1-4 p.m., season extension lab;

* Aug. 23, 1-4 p.m., arboretum tour;

* Aug. 31, 5-8 p.m., pollinator plot tour; and

* Sept. 2, 1-4 p.m., project presentations.

The cost of the training is $100 per person.

Working with county Ohio State Extension personnel, Master Gardener Volunteers provide educational services to their communities, Luon noted.

“If you are a garden enthusiast, this is a great opportunity to share your gardening know-how and skills with others in your community,” she said.

For information on the program, visit go.osu.edu/becomejeffharrmgv. If interested in applying to become a Master Gardener volunteer, contact Lyon by e-mail at lyon.194@osu.edu or by phone at (740) 461-6136. Applications also can be found online at jefferson.osu.edu under the Master Gardener program.

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