After a brief hiatus due to COVID-19, the Pueblo County Extension Office is gearing up to host Master Gardener training again in early 2022.
The function of the Master Gardeners is to extend the reach of their county Extension office by helping to educate the public on all things yard and garden. So many people want to obtain good, unbiased information on things happening with their landscapes and gardens, and the Extension office has been the trusted source for that information for decades. Without these highly trained volunteers, Extension staff wouldn’t be able to reach as many people as they do.
This volunteer program has been going strong in Pueblo County for many years. Participants in the program take a 15 week training course in which they learn all about gardening in Colorado. These courses are taught by CSU Extension faculty and staff who really know their gardening stuff.
Once volunteers complete training, and pass the final exam of course, they participate in a plethora of volunteer activities in the community. These activities include answering calls that come into the Master Gardener help line, staffing informational booths at community events, putting on educational events such as the xeriscape tour, helping work the always anticipated SHED/Master Gardener plant sale, along with many more opportunities. There are volunteer opportunities to fit most all interests, and plenty of room to create new opportunities as well.
The process for 2022 Master Gardener training starts this fall when we take applications. You can visit our website at https://pueblo.extension.colostate.edu/ to find a link to the application. Chosen applicants will move on to the next steps of an interview with current Master Gardeners, and a background check.
There is a fee associated with training of $200. This year, thanks to local nonprofit group SHED (Supporters of Horticulture Education), there are some scholarships available to help pay a portion of the training fee. If you apply and are accepted, information on scholarships will be provided to you.
Training starts in January 2022 and runs through April. You can check our website for additional information on training topics and schedule. New volunteers will have until October 31, 2022 to finish 50 volunteer hours. It sounds like a lot of hours, but when volunteering is so much fun it goes by in the blink of an eye! There are also many social opportunities to meet like minded gardeners in the community.
Be sure to visit our website or give us a call at 719-583-6566 if you are interested in learning more about this great program!