Cooperative extension offering gardener training

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PORTLAND – The Cumberland County Cooperative Extension has announced its master gardener volunteer training program for educators. The program is designed for people who work in schools (grades kindergarten to 12) and are residents of Cumberland County. The course will take place during a three-week period in July and August.

The master gardener program has been in existence since 1982 and volunteers receive 45 hours of practical training in basic horticulture with sessions in soil science, botany, entomology, plant disease, garden problem-solving and pruning.

After finishing the course, each master gardener agrees to “give back” 40 hours of volunteer time over a 12-month period as a participant in any one or more of numerous community-based projects around the county.

The projects range from youth gardens and being a part of the School/Master Gardener Network, to working with immigrants and/or low income families to promote gardening interests, or as a “Garden Angel” to assist the elderly or less-able individuals in gardening endeavors with weekly visits to their garden site during the growing season.

Participants are selected through an application process. Applications are available by calling the Cumberland County Extension office at 1-800-287-1471 or by viewing the Web site, www.umaine.edu/umcecumberland/ccmg. The deadline for applications is Friday, June 16.

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