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Apply now for the Colorado Master Gardener Program

By Roberta Tolan
SUN Columnist

Calling all gardening enthusiasts: applications are now available for the 2014 Colorado Master Gardener Program.

The Colorado Master Gardener Program is a volunteer-based program that teaches in-depth, science based gardening information to individuals who then pass along their knowledge to others through volunteer service. This 11-week course trains volunteers in the latest horticulture information so they can then teach Archuleta County residents how to be successful gardeners in Colorado. Training is provided in all elements of gardening and includes over 60 hours of hands-on training. A passion for gardening and a willingness to share your knowledge is required, but no previous, formal horticulture experience is needed.

To become a Certified Colorado Master Gardener, you must complete the Colorado Master Gardener training, attending a minimum of 80 percent of the classes, and provide a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service before Oct. 31, 2014. The cost of the program which includes a four-color, 600-plus page manual is $275 and must be paid prior to the start of training. Married couples who register together and receive only one copy of the training materials may participate at a reduced price of $445 per couple. Partial scholarships are available through the Archuleta County Extension office and can be requested on the application form. Participants who do not wish to complete 50 hours of volunteer service may attend the trainings for the full registration cost of $625.

Classes will be offered beginning Thursday, Jan. 23, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and continue each Thursday through April 3. Most classes will take place at the CSU Extension office at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds, but a few classes will be taught in Durango to take advantage of local expertise. A complete training schedule follows:

Jan. 23: Program Overview and the Science and Art of Plant Diagnostics.

Jan. 30: Soils, Fertilizers and Soil Amendments.

Feb. 6: How Plants Grow.

Feb. 13: Vegetables and Small Fruits.

Feb. 20: The Science of Planting Trees and Lawn Care.

Feb. 27: Entomology.

March 6: Mountain Gardening and Herbaceous Plants.

March 13: Water Wise Landscape Design.

March 20: Plant Pathology.

March 27: Weed Management.

April 3: Pruning Trees and Local Program Orientation.

The Colorado Master Gardener Program is a volunteer program and provides local opportunities for trained volunteers to give back to the community. Volunteer opportunities are always expanding, but examples include creating and maintaining demonstration gardens, working at the Archuleta County Fair, helping educate children about gardening, answering gardening questions at the Farmers Market and designing new gardening programs for the county.

For more information about the Colorado Master Gardener Program in Archuleta County, or to reserve your space in the 2014 program, call the CSU Extension Program at 264-5931 and complete the application form. Registration begins Oct. 3 and continues through Dec. 20.

CPR/First Aid classes 

CPR and First Aid certification classes are now being offered monthly by the CSU Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6-10 p.m. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.

We will also attempt to schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/First Aid and $55 for CPR, First Aid or recertification. The type of information provided will vary with the needs of participants.

Calendar

Oct. 3: Western Heritage Committee meeting, 6 p.m.

Oct. 3: 4-H Shady Pines Club meeting, 6 p.m.

Oct. 8: Farm Bureau meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 8: 4-H Colorado Kids Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 8: 4-H Rocky Mountain. Riders Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 9: 4-H Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 10: Mountain View Homemakers meeting, noon.

 Colorado State University Extension provides science-based information on youth development (4-H), agriculture and natural resources, horticulture, family and consumer sciences and community development. Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

This story was posted on October 3, 2013.