NORTH PLATTE – Applications are now open for the Nebraska Extension West Central Nebraska Master Gardener program’s winter sessions.
The program, which has been actively turning garden variety Americans into a variety of American gardeners since 1976, is open to any person interested in turning their thumb a little greener.
According to a statement issued by the program, the only prerequisite for becoming a master gardener is a desire to learn about aspects of the horticultural world and the willingness to share that knowledge with others in their communities; a preexisting mastery of all things botanical is not a requirement.
The program offers near total coverage of topics for the home gardener: from backyard landscaping to native pollinators, and annual and perennial flowers.
Aspiring Master Gardeners will be required to take 40 hours of class credit and in their first year commit to 40 hours of volunteering for the program, which can be accomplished in any number of ways, from teaching to drafting communications to recruitment efforts.
The classes will take place either in person in North Platte or over Zoom, whichever is more convenient for the prospective master gardener.
There is a $180 fee for new gardeners that goes to cover the proper manuals, a name badge and t-shirt, and all programming. For those shying away from the opportunity because of its price tag, the program does offer potential scholarship opportunities to help offset the cost.
The price tag for those who wish only to participate in the class without certification is much lower; $25 is all it takes to enroll in the Master Gardener program, and returning volunteers, those in their second year and beyond, need only pay $20 to cover state program fees and local program support.
Applications are due January 6, 2023, with classes running from January through April, and resuming in September and October. Questions about the program or application process can be directed to David Lott or to the Nebraska Extension Office in North Platte at (308) 532-2683.