Volunteer Master Gardener Community Grows in Sarasota, Manatee Counties

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Gardening


A vibrant community of volunteer master gardeners in our region is delighted to welcome new members to its ranks. A new class of graduates from UF/IFAS Extension Offices in Manatee and Sarasota Counties graduated May 20 after 12 weeks of intense training. This combined “Class of 2022,” with more than 30 members, participated in online and in-person classes focusing on everything from plant identification and pathology to botany, soils, entomology, etc The Master Gardener Volunteer program, started in Florida in 1979 and administered by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), offers a route for those interested in gardening, landscaping and community services to help extension workers deliver awareness, education and projects. Participants receive in-depth, university-designed training on a range of local issues, including sustainable growth, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™, and leadership skills. They then provide a myriad of voluntary services, from working with landowners on irrigation and landscape issues to advising on plants and pests. Over the years, some 5,000 Floridians have joined the ranks of the Volunteer Master Gardeners. To remain active in the program, members must annually contribute hours of volunteer service and receive ongoing training. Residents interested in joining the Master Gardener Volunteer program should contact the local county extension office to request more information. In Sarasota County, call 941-861-5000 or email [email protected] In Manatee County, call 941-722-4524 or email [email protected]

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