Master Gardener volunteer training to be offered

If you love gardening and are looking for a way to give back to your community, the Pierce County Master Gardener Program may be the volunteer opportunity for you.

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced gardener, the Master Gardener Program will expand your gardening knowledge and introduce you to numerous meaningful volunteer opportunities. Trained and certified WSU Pierce County Master Gardener volunteers are educators and community leaders. They answer questions and give advice to home gardeners on plant care, pest management, sustainable gardening and associated topics.

Applications will be available Aug. 1. Just contact the Pierce County Extension Office at 253-798-7170 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays or at and request an application packet. The cost is $180 for volunteer track, which includes all learning texts. A Master Gardener Committee will review applications, which are due with a self-addressed stamped envelope Oct 1. Top candidates will be selected for a short interview. All candidates will receive notification of selection status by Nov. 30. Classes are held on Fridays beginning Jan. 4, 2008 and ending March 21 from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the WSU Puyallup Research Station.

After completion of classroom training, Master Gardener interns complete 60 hours of volunteer service, considered hands-on training, to earn official Master Gardener status. These volunteer hours are divided into public contact, demonstration garden activities, and continuing education. As veterans, Master Gardeners are required to complete at least 25 hours of approved volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education to remain active.