La PORTE — A Purdue Extension Master Gardener training program will be offered in La Porte County beginning Sept. 5 and continuing until Dec. 19 on Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m.

The classes will be held at the Purdue Extension – La Porte County office on Ind. 2 near the county fairgrounds in La Porte.

The purpose of the Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program is to teach people more about growing plants and to more effectively share information related to plants with others. Its specific aim is to provide information and technical assistance in the areas of gardening and home horticulture through the use of trained and certified volunteers.

The Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program is an integral part of Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and provides citizens of Indiana a chance to grow. The program provides a learning framework for participants to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects. In turn, participants volunteer, representing Purdue University. They help others grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within their communities.

To become a Purdue Extension Master Gardener, there is a two-step process to register for the class that is limited to 25 participants. Please call the La Porte County Extension Office at 324-9407 for more information or go to https://extension.purdue.edu/laporte/article/19255.

After being accepted for training, one must attend a series of weekly classes, each lasting three hours. Upon completing the required training and passing a final exam, one achieves the rank of Master Gardener Intern. Master Gardener Interns are required to volunteer, representing Purdue University, a minimum of 35 hours to be certified as a Purdue Extension Master Gardener. Then, to maintain their certification, each year Master Gardeners volunteer just 12 hours and attend six hours of educational training.

Participants in the Master Gardener class pay a registration fee of $200 for the training program, which includes a Master Gardener name badge, a choice of the training manual in print or electronic versions, class handouts, mailings, and opportunities to network with other Master Gardeners. The training is fun, it’s interesting and one meets many people who love gardening.

For more information about the Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program or about attending the upcoming Master Gardener class, please contact the Purdue Extension – La Porte County office at 324-9407 or visit www.extension.purdue.edu/laporte and click on “Garden;” then click on “Fall Master Gardener Class;” the applications should be completed, signed and returned by Aug. 30 to Purdue Extension – La Porte County, 2857 W. Ind. 2, Suite A, La Porte, IN 46350.

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