Master Gardeners seek volunteers


SIDNEY — Ohio State University Extension Shelby County and Shelby County Master Gardeners are currently planning their 2022 Master Gardener Volunteer training program. This year’s training program will use a hybrid model with initial training using a self-paced online course. Trainees will also participate in several in-person sessions.

The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents. They volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local Ohio State University 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. Working with county Extension personnel, Master Gardener Volunteers provide such educational services to their communities as: answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics and seminars; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons; beautifying the community; developing community or demonstration gardens; and other horticultural activities.

The training program covers a wide range of topics starting with basic botany, soils and fertility, basic entomology, and plant pathology. More specific topics include pest management, lawn care, flowers, trees and shrubs, home fruit and vegetable production, and backyard wildlife issues, and more.

Cost of the online training is $200, with $50 being refunded if the trainee fulfills all the requirements to become a Master Gardener Volunteer within 12 months of completing the online course. The fee covers access to the online program, a comprehensive training manual, a shirt, and incidentals. OSU Extension also requires an online background check. In-person training will be provided by OSUE experts as well as experienced Master Gardener Volunteers. Upon completion of the training sessions, the trainee will become a Master Gardener intern and will be expected to provide 50 hours of volunteer service during the coming year.

Based in Shelby County, Shelby County Master Gardeners also serves Auglaize and Mercer counties and welcomes their residents as volunteers. For more information or to obtain a registration packet, stop by the Extension Office at 810 Fair Road, Sidney, call 937-498-7239, or email us at [email protected] The deadline to register is Aug. 22.