- Brett Turner Contributing Writer
A unique volunteer opportunity will be available starting in January.
The Ohio State University Extension Clark County Office’s Master Gardener Volunteer Program is accepting applications for its training program. The nine-week course, which is offered every two years, will begin Jan. 31 at the Clark County office, 3130 E. Main St., where applicants will learn a variety of training topics.
“Our goal is to keep people active and interested in learning and giving back in a unique way by teaching others about gardening,” said Pam Bennett, volunteer program director. “It’s an incredible opportunity to learn.”
Participants don’t have to have a green thumb to be involved. Bennett said volunteers have ranged from having no gardening experience to people with PhDs and comes down to a matter of a participant wanting to learn.
Volunteers will be exposed to teachers from OSU and the state and learn topics such as botany, basic entomology, lawn care, pest management, foods and many others.
Bennett said being a volunteer requires a real commitment with classes being 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through March 28, then required to do volunteer 50 hours after training. But there will also be volunteer opportunities for those without the training.
Another positive to the training is the social aspect, as many volunteers become friends and some use it as a way to stay fit.
Even those not interested in getting their hands dirty can find things to do to help such as working on the group’s website.
There are currently about 120 volunteers. With big projects such as the Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum, there is a great need for more.
“This is unique for Clark County and an incredible opportunity to learn,” Bennett said.
The training entry fee is $150 and includes a training manual, materials and shirt. For more information or to register, go to https://clark.osu.edu/.