The Purdue Extension 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: 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 in a downstairs meeting room of Parkview Whitley Hospital. Go in main entrance past front desk to elevator or stairs, then down to basement.
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.
Master Gardeners of Whitley County (local association website)
Report Education or Volunteer Hours in Master Gardener Manager (online reporting system)
- Purdue Master Gardener Program Policy Guide (MG-5-W) Note: revision due June 1, 2019!
CURRENTLY RECRUITING for Fall 2019 Master Gardener Basic Training Class! (Noble and Whitley Counties)
Watch our recruitment video! (1:41)
If you are interested in taking the class, please plan ahead! The tentative plan is Thursday mornings (and two Mondays), 9:00 a.m. - Noon, after Labor Day. See preliminary schedule below. Call us now at 260-244-7615 (or 260-636-2111 in Noble County) with your name, address, phone number and email. We'll communicate all the particulars directly with you. Or, access this recruitment letter. Steps to successful enrollment:
- By July 31: Fill out and submit an application (see "Application and Agreement Form" below). Read "Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program Policy Guide"(see above). See also the preliminary schedule below. (If you provide us your name and address, we will mail these items to you).
- By July 31: Provide verification of identification (show us your drivers license in person in Extension office)
- By Aug. 31: After we conduct screening process (by first week of August), successful applicants will be notified how to access official class enrollment and pay online through a system called "cvent." Arrangements can be made to enroll and pay in person at Extension office with check, if you would prefer. Aug. 31 is final deadline for class enrollment and payment.
- Sept. 16: First class
- Advanced Training Events (on state MG website).
- July 16, 2019, 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.: Gardening Seminars* at Whitley County 4-H Fair, by Whitley County Master Gardeners (see flyer below)
*Gardening Seminars - Main info:
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 1 – 4 pm
In Ag Museum on the Whitley Co. 4-H Fairgrounds, 680 W. Squawbuck Rd., Columbia City
- 1:00 pm – A Monarch Life Cycle: Migration, State of Monarch Today, How Can I Help? by Richard Gerber: Master Gardener & Master Naturalist
- 2:00 pm – From Grass to Garden: A Bare Space to Garden Challenges & Wonderful Results, by Duane Janssen: Master Gardener
- 3:00 pm –Learning About and Creating a Pot of Succulents, by Ryan Baker: Owner of CountryView Greenhouse south of So. Whitley
NOTE: For 3pm seminar, only participants who create a pot must register and pay at the door. For this presentation, there will be a CHARGE: $25 preregistration, or for those not registering in advance $30 on the day of presentation (if supplies are available). This is for a "Make and Take" pot of succulents - you'll take it home with you!
OR, NO CHARGE: Not participating, only observe and listen.
TO REGISTER FOR PARTICIPATION:
Sign up online @ www.mastergardenerswc.com, or fill out a registration form at Whitley County Purdue Extension. Everyone Invited!