Announcing the 2005 Galveston County Master Gardener Training
by Dr. William M. Johnson, Galveston County Extension Agent - Horticulture
January 13, 2005
by nature are great people and the Galveston County Master
Gardener volunteers exemplify the very best in unselfishly providing
volunteer service that benefits the residents of Galveston County. Shown
are Master Gardeners at the "Ask a Master Gardener" table to
address residents' questions during annual plant sales such as the upcoming
Fruit Tree Sale & Seminar on Saturday, February 7.
Photo Credit: Dr. William M. Johnson
SATURDAY, JANUARY 15: Successful Spring Vegetable Gardening.
9:00-11:30 a.m. at the Galveston County Extension Office. Master
Luke Stripling is a longtime home gardener and will present a slide
presentation proven techniques for a productive spring vegetable
garden. No fee but reservation required (281-534-3413, Ext. 6 or
Attention all gardeners! Do you like to share with young people and adults
what you know about plants and gardening? Do you want to learn more about
the culture and maintenance of many types of plants? Would you like to
participate in a practical and intensive horticulture training program?
Do you have time to attend a 7-week training and complete at least 50
hours of volunteer service within 9 months?
If you answered yes to these questions, the Galveston County Master Gardener
Program is for you. The Galveston County Extension Office is seeking gardeners
who would like to utilize their gardening knowledge and experience to
teach others the joys of gardening in return for some of the best training
in horticulture available.
The Galveston County Master Gardener Program is sponsored by Texas Cooperative
Extension, a part of Texas A&M University. It is a volunteer program
where trained volunteers provide research-based home gardening information
to the residents of Galveston County through various programs and activities
such as workshops, plant clinics, speakers' bureau, school projects, garden
publications, research and demonstration gardens and answering individual
requests for gardening information.
Applicants selected to be Master Gardener trainees will receive training
in home horticulture from several Texas A&M Extension faculty including
Dr. Larry Barnes, Dr. Sam Feagley, Dr. Mary L. Ketchersid, Dr. Garland
McIlveen, Dr. Don Renchie, Dr. Bill Welch and Dr. Doug Welsh. In addition,
I and several local experts in the various areas of horticulture will
The program offers 62 hours of instruction in the areas of vegetables,
fruits, lawn grasses, shrubs, flowers and trees. In addition to identification
and management of insect pests, diseases and weeds, instruction is also
provided on soil fertility, composting, soils and plant nutrition, propagation,
pesticide use, pruning and much, much more!
Gardeners by nature are great people and our Galveston County Master Gardener
volunteers exemplify the very best in unselfishly providing volunteer
service that benefits the general public. The Galveston County Master
Gardener program was started in 1982 and we are celebrating our 24th anniversary
this year. We are the second oldest county Master Gardener program in
the State of Texas.
There are many opportunities to use your talents and serve the community
through the Master Gardener program. While a primary activity of Master
Gardeners has been to address gardening questions at the County Extension
Office, our Master Gardener program is very diversified in its outreach,
reflecting the skills, interests and individuality of the volunteers.
Many Master Gardeners provide educational programs on horticulture for
our community residents. During 2004, Master Gardeners provided 17 educational
programs as part of our Gulf Coast Gardening . . . 2004 Saturday Seminars
Series to meet the growing number of requests for additional educational
programs. Master Gardeners also provided 61 educational programs for area
civic organizations including garden clubs, garden shows, etc.
Master Gardeners assist with updating our website which contains a treasure
of information on horticulture. From the start, it was a big success with
the public, as more area residents utilize the Internet and seek information
for their various gardening problems. Now, many other people from all
over the nation visit our website. Over the 2004 calendar year, our website
received over a half-million (546,472 to be exact) "visits"
or "hits." If you have not yet visited our website, use the
website address or URL provided at the end of this column to peruse the
wide variety of information useful for this area.
Several Master Gardeners help reduce the solid waste problem by teaching
people how to compost. Master Gardeners teach children's gardening classes
that emphasize environmental stewardship and human nutrition. Master Gardeners
also constructed the Horticulture Display Gardens located at the County
Extension Office to serve as a resource for area residents and it is open
to the public daily from sunrise to sunset. We have developed a well-recognized
horticulture therapy training program. The possibilities are unlimited.
Participants become Certified Texas Master Gardeners after they have completed
the training and internship by fulfilling their volunteer commitment.
Once you have become certified, you are eligible to attend other training
programs and workshops. You will also qualify to join the Galveston County
Master Gardener Association. Along with the camaraderie, you will share
their knowledge and expertise. A bimonthly newsletter, monthly membership
meetings, gardening seminars and tours are among the many activities sponsored
by this group.
As you can see, the Master Gardener program is more than a horticulture
class or a social club. It is a vibrant volunteer program that enables
participants to serve their communities through horticultural education.
It also promotes personal growth. Not only do Master Gardeners increase
their knowledge of horticulture, but they can also enhance their communication,
management, and leadership skills which can be used in all aspects of
The 2005 Galveston County Master Gardener Training Course starts on Monday,
February 21, and is conducted each Tuesday and Thursday from 1-5 p.m.
thereafter through April 5. The classes are held at the Galveston County
Extension Office located at 5115 Highway 3 in Dickinson.
There is a registration fee of $100 plus a $50 "earnest money"
fee which will be refunded upon completion of the volunteer service hour
commitment. The registration fee includes a copy of the "Texas Master
Gardener Handbook", an engraved name badge, refreshments and also
helps to cover travel expenses of program speakers.
To obtain more information or a program information and application packet,
contact the Galveston County Extension Office at 281-534-3413, ext. 6.
You may also contact us by e-mail (GALV3@wt.net) or visit the office.
Dr. Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County
Extension Office of Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University.
Visit his web site at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.htm
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