PARIS – The University of Maine Cooperative Extension will again offer its master gardener program in the winter/spring.

“Master gardener is a wonderful program that increases participants’ knowledge of the science of gardening while providing an opportunity to share that knowledge with the community through a volunteer project,” said Barbara Murphy, Extension educator for Oxford County.

Participants will receive 15 three-hour training sessions on gardening from 5:30 to 9 p.m. starting Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Extension office, South Paris. After completion of the training program, each master gardener will volunteer 40 hours to a community gardening project.

Possible projects may include working on a cut flower research project, planting and maintaining gardens to feed the hungry, working with the elderly or school-age children or maintaining the office landscape.

The 2007 program will focus on ornamentals: annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, lawns and groundcovers. The cost for the program is $90, which includes a 700-page reference manual. Limited scholarships are available.

For more information or to request an application, call the Oxford County Extension office at 743-6329 or 1-800-287-1482.

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