Master gardener certification part of the green jobs wave in Colorado
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — As community gardens grow in popularity, there’s been a corresponding demand for master gardeners to help guide those endeavors.
Summit County residents this winter will have a chance to take advantage of training offered by the Colorado State University Extension program’s master gardening classes, to be held Thursdays from January 26 to March 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the County Commons, 37 Peak One Drive in Frisco.
The program brings research-based information on home gardening to local communities, and trains volunteers to assist CSU Extension staff with delivery of that information. There are two options for enrollment – Colorado Master Gardener (volunteer option), and Colorado Gardener Certificate (non-volunteer option). Participants in either option will receive ten weeks of comprehensive instruction on a wide range of home gardening topics. Classes are presented by distance education, allowing mountain residents to connect with Extension specialists and other experts.
Upon completion of training, applicants enrolled in the Colorado Master Gardener volunteer option will continue to learn on the job by providing a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service. Volunteer projects may include answering gardening questions, assisting with community gardening projects, or teaching the public about noxious weeds, among many other possibilities. The cost for the Colorado Master Gardener volunteer option is $240.
The Colorado Gardener Certificate enrollment option is often used by professionals in the green industry, or by anyone wishing to increase their gardening knowledge without committing to volunteer hours. Many people considering a career in the green industry start with Master Gardener training as an all-around introduction to advanced plant care. The cost for the Colorado Gardener Certificate option is $575.
Applications for both the Colorado Master Gardener and the Colorado Gardener Certificate options must be received by November 5, 2011. For more information or an application, please contact the Colorado State University Extension office in Summit County at (970) 668-3595, or download an application at http://www.extension.colostate.edu/summit/.