PORTLAND – The Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County will offer a master gardener training course beginning Feb. 9, 2007. The program will feature ornamental horticulture and take place on 16 consecutive Friday mornings in Gorham.

A master gardener is a trained volunteer of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Master gardeners receive 45 hours of practical training in basic horticulture with sessions in soil science, botany, entomology, plant diseases, garden problem-solving and pruning.

Each master gardener agrees to “give back” 40 hours of volunteer time over a 12-month period as a participant in a community-based project. 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 elderly or less-able individuals in gardening endeavors. Opportunities also exist for maintaining or establishing landscape beautification projects.

Participants must be residents of Cumberland County and are selected through an application process. Applications are available by calling the Cumberland County office of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension at 1-800-287-1471 or by visiting www.umaine.edu/umcecumberland/ccmg. The deadline is Friday, Jan. 5.

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