Gardeners by nature are great people and our Galveston County Master Gardeners volunteers exemplify the very best in unselfishly providing volunteer service that benefits residents throughout the county. The Galveston County Master Gardener program was started in 1982, and we are celebrating our 36th anniversary this year.

We are the second oldest county Master Gardener program in Texas. The number of counties implementing Master Gardener programs has grown significantly over the years and currently there are more than 100 Texas counties with Master Gardener programs.

So, how does one become a Master Gardener? To learn more about the Galveston County Master Gardner Program and how to become a Master Gardener, you are invited to attend a presentation entitled “What Is a Galveston County Master Gardener?” on Saturday at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park 4102-B Main Street, La Marque from 9 to 11 a.m. A panel of Master Gardener Interns from the 2018 class will conduct a forum-style presentation where they will discuss the many facets of this volunteer program including the application process, the training course and what to expect after completion of the course. Pre-registration is requested to ensure availability of handouts; phone 281-309-5065 or e-mail galvcountymgs@gmail.com.

Texas Master Gardeners are a corps of highly trained volunteers who help people and communities through horticultural education. Texas Master Gardeners are people from the local community that have completed sixty-five hours of classroom instruction and provided 50 hours of volunteer service to help provide county programs on horticultural issues.

Most of the Master Gardener training classes are taught by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension professors who are widely recognized in their areas of expertise. The course curriculum will include botany, soils and soil fertility, plant propagation, plant disease identification and management, pesticide safety, weed identification and management, vegetables, insect identification and management, composting, turf grasses and home vegetable production.

The Master Gardener volunteer experience is all about learning and you will come away from the training much more knowledgeable than when you started. If you choose to join this organization, you will enjoy a learning experience that will last a lifetime. Your experience not only will be rewarding, but you will also gain a huge family of friends from diverse backgrounds.

The 18-session training program begins Feb. 5. Classes meet Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Extension Office until April 11. Applications will be made available during the “What Is a Galveston County Master Gardener” presentation Saturday. Applications can also be downloaded from our website https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/ as well as other important information. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 6. Don’t miss this great opportunity.

Dr. William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M System. Visit his website at aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

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