The Master Gardeners of Greenbrier Valley with the West Virginia University Extension Service are again offering the series of classes leading to WV Master Gardener Certification.
There will be 13 classes every Tuesday evening from Sept. 5 through Nov. 14 (including two Saturday classes). The classes will be held at the Blue Ribbon Building near the Demonstration Garden at the WV state fairgrounds from 6 until 9 p.m. on Tuesday evenings.
Classes will cover a wide variety of subjects of interest to gardeners and will be instructed by experts in their respective fields. Class topics will include basic botany, plant propagation, plant diseases, organic gardening, pruning, landscaping and pest control, in addition to many other areas relevant to gardening.
Cost of the class series is $85 which includes a comprehensive West Virginia Master Gardener Manual. There will be 40 hours of instruction provided in the classroom. In addition, participants desiring certification will be required to complete 40 hours of volunteer work in projects sponsored by the Greenbrier Valley Master Gardeners. Projects can include instruction or guidance in teaching school children or senior citizens about various aspects of gardening, volunteering in setting up and maintaining a number of planting and flower beds in the county, and working in the Demonstration Garden at the state fairgrounds.
Requirements for maintaining certification as a Master Gardener in West Virginia include 10 hours of continuing education in topics relating to gardening and 20 hours of volunteer work every year. Continuing education opportunities are offered regularly in field trips and workshops.
The Master Gardeners of Greenbrier Valley were initially organized in 2002 by Willa and Pat Izzo in cooperation with the West Virginia University Extension Office. The organization has been growing since that time with new members joining each year. There are currently approximately 50 active members. Most counties in West Virginia (as well as other states across the country) have Master Gardener organizations.
The Demonstration Garden at the WV fairgrounds has been a major project of the Greenbrier County Master Gardeners and it has also been expanding with additional ground and plantings of flowers, trees and vegetables every year. The garden has also added paved pathways through the garden to make it more accessible to strollers and persons in wheelchairs.
Enrollment in the upcoming classes is limited so anyone interested in learning more about gardening and becoming certified as a West Virginia Master Gardener should not delay in contacting the WV University Extension Office at 304-647-7408 to sign up for classes. The classes are open to the public and the only pre-requirement is a willingness to get your hands dirty and have a genuine interest in learning about gardening!