The Purdue Master Gardener Program is an integral part of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and provides the residents of Indiana a chance to grow. Under the guidance and support of Purdue Extension, selected residents of a county voluntarily begin a training program specifically designed to prepare them to help others grow.
The program provides a learning framework for participants to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects.
When these volunteers complete the 12- to 16-week Basic Training program (one 3-hour class per week) and pass an examination (at least a 70% score), they are then identified by the county and Purdue as Master Gardener Interns. The Master Gardener Interns are expected to complete 35 volunteer service hours, representing the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. They help others grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within their communities, under the guidance of the local Program Coordinator.
When the minimum volunteer commitment has been fulfilled, volunteers are then certified as Master Gardeners. Master Gardeners remain active by completing six hours of educational training and twelve hours of volunteer service per year. Advanced levels of certification are offered to help with recognition and retention of volunteers.
If you are interested in more information about the Master Gardener Program, refer to the general Purdue Master Gardener Program informational brochure (Purdue publication HO-184: html or pdf).
In addition, if you would like local information or are part of a local community group that would like to have a Master Gardener teach your group about a gardening topic, please contact Purdue Extension office in Whitley County at 260-625-3313, 260-244-7615 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow plenty of time to make arrangements.
Whitley County Master Gardeners typically meet on the first Thursday of each month starting at 6:30 p.m. Most months we will meet at the 4-H Center.
If you would like to explore having a Whitley County Master Gardener speak to your group about a home gardening topic, contact Whitley County's Speaker Coordinator, Beth Ann Sickafoose, 260-248-1234.
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- Feb. 18, 2017: Garden Thyme Symposium, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, Indian Springs Middle School, 1692 S State Road 9, Columbia City, IN. Flyer/Registration Form
- June 24, 2017: Whitley County Master Gardeners' Garden Walk, 9 am - 3 pm. (Details soon)
- July 18, 2017: Master Gardener Seminars at the Whitley County 4-H Fair, 1–4 pm. (Details soon)
- Sept. 11-Dec. 11, 2017: Master Gardener Basic Training class tentatively planned from 9:00 am - Noon each Monday. Location will alternate each week between Purdue Extension offices in Noble County and in Whitley County. More details to come in summer 2017.
- Advanced Training Events (on state MG website).