CULLMAN, Ala. – The Master Gardener program has been successful all across America and even in Canada. The first program was in King County Washington in 1973 and the first program in Alabama was in 1981 in Madison County. I started working with the program in Jefferson County in 1984 and have worked with the program ever since. Cullman has an active group of trained Master Gardeners who make a huge impact in our community as they volunteer their time and use their expertise.
Participants of the program need not have any particular gardening skills. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System provides the experts who train Master Gardener interns over a three-month period. We start the class the last Wednesday in January and meet from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. each Wednesday covering different topics each week.
In addition to the training classes, each participant agrees to provide 50 hours of horticulture-related volunteer service to the community. We will help you plug in to ongoing projects or find new projects of your own. Some projects our Master Gardeners are currently involved range from community gardens, display and demonstration gardens, school gardens, fair activities and assisting the North Alabama Agriplex with programs it offers all across the area. Recently our Master Gardeners re-landscaped the Richter Chapel grounds. We even have volunteers who help at the Birmingham and Huntsville Botanical Gardens.
Master Gardeners also meet monthly for continuing education, project planning and fellowship. These meetings, which occur the fourth Thursday of the month from 10 a.m.-noon, are open to the public. If you are just curious, drop by and see what it’s all about. They meet at the County Extension office at 402 Arnold St. NW across from the Folsom Center in the Cullman Office Building.
If you are interested in signing up for the next program to begin Jan. 29, 2020 contact me or Beth Glasscock at the Extension Office. We can provide you program cost details and an application to complete. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org or you may call us at 256-737-9386.