Registration is open for the 2022 Master Gardeners training class. Pat Kizzire, president of the Arkans County Master Gardeners, said the 40 hours of training is the first step that participants take to become Master Gardeners.
“Arkansas County has a force of about 35 active members”. We started our first class actually in 1995. The Master Gardener program is about spending time outside, digging in the dirt, learning about plants, and volunteering for community projects,” Kizzire said.
The class will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Registrants pay $75 for the course.
“That not only covers all your training, but it also covers a huge binder with a lot of information that you can go back and refer to. You will have very entertaining speakers that will do these classes,” Kizzire said. “That $75 also includes your first year of membership and a name tag.”
Participants will obtain a wealth of knowledge and additional resources.
“You learn about horticulture, botany, pest control, and pretty much everything else related. As a Master Gardener, you also are afforded opportunities to have access to what the University of Arkansas has. We have soil testing to be sure you are using what you are supposed to,” Kizzire said.
The classes will be held at the Arkansas County Extension Office in DeWitt. Lecturers will present information via Zoom. Lunch and snacks are provided.
“The amount of information that you get is just unreal. I know when I went through the class, it was amazing,” Kizzire said.
Classes will be held from 8 am to 4:30 pm on the following Wednesdays: Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, and Nov. 16.
After the class concludes, attendees are asked to do 40 hours of volunteer work and 20 hours of education within a year. One way to obtain volunteer hours is by helping with one of the Arkansas County Master Gardener projects.
“We have eight projects in the county that are taken care of by our Master Gardeners. There are sanctioned and non-sanctioned projects,” Kizzire said.
Master Gardeners work on beautification projects at the courthouse in Stuttgart, the courthouse in DeWitt, Cook’s Lake, the Grand Prairie Child Development Center, and other places throughout Arkansas County.
Arkansas County Master Gardeners can also earn hours by going on garden tours.
“We toured a rose garden over at Crawfordsville that had over 600 roses, Wingmead, St. Joseph’s in North Little Rock, and the Heifer Project,” Kizzire said.
To request a Master Gardener application or for details about the training program, people may call Arkansas County’s extension office at 870-659-2058. The deadline to register for the Master Gardeners class is Friday, Sept. 9.