The West Virginia University Extension Service Master Gardener program in Wirt County is looking for people who are passionate about gardening and want their horticultural skills to be as sharp as their pruning shears.
Once enrolled as a volunteer, they will learn the most up‐to‐date science behind gardening basics, which will then be used to give back to the community in a variety of ways, including community gardening and beautification projects throughout Wirt County.
“It’s a wonderful way to learn and graciously pay the knowledge forward to impact your community and surroundings,” said Mira Danilovich, WVU Extension consumer horticulture specialist and Master Gardener statewide coordinator. “We have a membership of about 1,500 Master Gardeners who find their efforts to be extremely rewarding.” Danilovich said the numbers speak for themselves, citing that Master Gardeners volunteer tens of thousands of hours a year. That work reaches an average of 25,000 residents annually.
Interested gardeners will receive approximately 40 hours of indoor and outdoor instruction from the WVU Extension Service Wirt County office. Topics will touch on all the basics, including plant science, propagation and pathology; soil science; entomology; integrated pest management; vegetable and flower gardening; tree and small fruits; lawn care; indoor plants; ornamental trees and shrubs; landscaping and communication skills. After completing the training, the Master Gardener trainees will use their newly acquired knowledge to assist the Wirt County Extension staff in addressing horticultural and environmental issues to attain the initial certification and the right to call themselves certified Master Gardeners.
The title reflects both the level of attained knowledge and the sense of pride that comes from volunteerism. Forty (40) volunteer hours are required for initial certification, and can encompass a wide array of projects and activities. These activities can be as simple as helping your next-door neighbor solve a pest problem. Outside of your own backyard, we have many opportunities for volunteering including working with the 4-H youth enrolled in plant science projects, judging the crop exhibits at our fair, hosting workshops on gardening, and working with our community garden. Any Extension related activity can be counted towards volunteer hours.
The program fee for the printed manual and class is $85. A reduced fee of $35 is available for those who would rather have the program on a CD. Applications are being accepted through Friday, September 14th, 2018. The class schedule will be determined once the application period has closed and will be based on the availability of participants.
To complete the program, each participant must complete 40 hours of education. For more information and to request an application, please contact the Wirt County WVU Extension Service office at 304-275-3101.
An online application is available at the link below: Online Master Gardener Application - Wirt County