Become A Texas Master Gardener …
Who Are Texas Master Gardeners?
Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others and able to communicate with diverse groups of people. What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, persons who become Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers, working through their Texas AgriLife Extension office to provide horticultural-related information to their communities.
Is the Master Gardener Program for Me?
* Do you want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?
* Are you eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?
* Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge with people?
* Do you have enough time to attend training and complete volunteer service hour requirements?
* Do you have special interests that could benefit the community or an interest in developing one? (i.e. bird or butterfly knowledge, native gardens, wildflowers, etc.)
* Do you have a sincere interest in nature or gardening?
If accepted into the Master Gardener program for Ellis County, you will be required to attend over 60 hours in specialized training courses. The program offers instruction in lawn care; ornamental trees and shrubs; insect, disease, and weed management; soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening; home fruit production; garden flowers; perennials and annuals; and water conservation.
In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer their time to their County Extension program. Beginning in 2006, a minimum of 75 hours of volunteer service within the eight months following the training are required to earn the title of “Texas Master Gardener.” The Master Coordinator in the Extension Office determines how volunteer time can best be utilized.
The type of service performed by Master Gardeners varies according to community needs and the abilities and interests of the Master Gardeners. In Ellis County you are likely to:
* Answer telephone requests for information related to gardening
* Staff plant clinics or displays in shopping malls, community centers and garden shops
* Speak to local groups and conduct workshops
* Work at the Lawn and Garden Expo
* Help maintain established beds through scheduled work days
* Work with 4-H youth
* Work at the Waxahachie Farmers Market
* Assist with news or radio releases related to gardening
Participants become certified Master Gardeners after they have completed the training course and fulfilled their volunteer commitment. Additionally, Master Gardeners are required to obtain re-certification and volunteer hours each year in order to maintain their title.