OSU Master Gardeners Volunteers graduate from training

The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteers recognize the new class of 2017.

The new Master Gardeners of Washington County completed twelve weeks of coursework on horticultural topics, including: soils and fertilizers, botany, plant pathology, organic gardening, vegetable and fruit production, plant propagation, and integrated pest management. The training started in September and ended in December with class presentations and evaluations.

The new graduates are Anita Beeney of Belpre, Andrew Clovis of St. Marys, Keral Fell of Beverly, Leslie Pittenger of Belpre, Joani Powers of Long Bottom, Tammy Stackpole of Vincent, Valerie Webster of Belpre, and Kathy Wesel of Marietta.

Class participants had to prepare a 20 minute presentation on topics relating to gardening, horticulture, or agriculture. This year’s presentations included: water gardening, floral design, rain gardens, backyard birds, tree selection, container gardens, terrariums, and backyard chickens. Participants are now required to complete 50 volunteer hours to become certified OSU Extension Master Gardeners. Upon successfully completing the first year’s requirements, Master Gardeners will maintain certification with 20 community service volunteer hours plus six hours of continuing education each year.

Volunteer hours can be working and teaching in community and schools gardens, answering horticulture questions, provide garden solutions at information booths (ex. the farmers market), participating in MGV programs, and assisting in other OSU Extension related activities.

The Master Gardener program originated in Seattle, Washington in 1972. The Extension Agent in the King County office of the Washington State Extension Service began to train and utilize the expertise of volunteers in order to more effectively reach the gardening public with research-based educational information. It was a great concept that has now spread across the United States, Canada and to other countries. The Master Gardener program in Ohio has existed since the late 1970s and has grown steadily. There are now more than 3000 active Master Gardener volunteers in more than 62 Ohio counties; located in urban, suburban and rural settings.

The next Washington County Master Gardener training will start in the fall of 2019. Anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener can contact the Washington County OSU Extension office by calling 740-376-7431 or emailing Marcus McCartney or Peggy Bolen, mccartney.138@osu.edu and bolen.8@osu.edu respectively