Starting in February, The Oregon State University Extension services will offer an eight-week course for people interested in obtaining a Master Gardening certification.

The class will run one day per week for the duration of the eight-week period. Trainees will learn from local and OSU experts on subjects ranging from botany basics to pest identification.

The cost to participate in the class is $115. Those who are interested in working with children as part of their volunteer service with the program must also undergo a background check.

Candidates must explain their reasons for volunteering as well as their volunteer history.

For those who work during the day, the extension offices in Lane County, central Oregon and Hood River offer night and Saturday classes. OSU's Professional and Noncredit Education unit also offers an online version of the training at https://pne.oregonstate.edu/catalog/master-gardener-online.

Mary Corp, the coordinator for the OSU Umatilla County Master Gardener program, said the class is meant to be accessible to people from across a variety of educational backgrounds who have a passion for learning more about growing home gardens and tending their landscapes.

Corp said Master Gardeners work to offer reliable, relevant and reachable information and educational opportunities to individuals across the country.

She said they answer questions at the OSU Extension officers, farmers markets and community events.

They also create and manage demonstration gardens, school gardens and community gardens, as well as host garden tours, workshops and classes in conjunction with community partners.

For more information, call 541-278-5403, or go to http://extension.oregonstate.edu/umatilla/sites/default/files/master_gardener/mg_2014_application.pdf.

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