Cleveland County began participating in the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program 8 years ago and currently has 55 volunteers committed to educating residents on environmentally sound, research-based information directly from NC State and NC A&T State universities.
Volunteers receive 40 hours of education from the local Extension Horticulture Agent. Meeting twice weekly for seven weeks, topics covered include vegetables, fruits, botany, propagation, soil, landscape design, turf, weeds, insects and diseases, etc. Upon graduating from the course, interns are responsible for fulfilling 40 hours of volunteer service their first year and 20 volunteer hours and 10 continuing education hours in subsequent years.
Many volunteer opportunities exist within the group providing something for everyone. Educating farmers' market patrons on Saturday mornings, school students in the classroom or outside at their gardens, Cleveland County Fair visitors, and other community projects are just a few of the volunteer options.
Field trips to gardens throughout the state are part of the activities the group does together. Monthly meetings are held, consisting of interesting speakers, old and new business, and opportunities for fellowship amongst members.
The course is offered once a year and the 2019 class will be August 20th through September 26th, 2019. Classes will be from 9 a.m. to Noon Tuesdays and Thursdays at the County Extension office, 130 South Post Road, Shelby. Cost of the program is $55. And pre-registration is required no later than August 15th.
To register, please call the NC Cooperative Extension, Cleveland County Center @704-482-4365.
For application and more info. go to: https://cleveland.ces.ncsu.edu/master-gardener-classes-2019.
Submitted by Annie Thompson