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Master Gardener certification being offered in Fremont County

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ST. ANTHONY — Despite the snow, wind and freezing temperatures, spring will come again and with it a new generation of master gardeners.

Registration is open for anyone interested in taking the spring Master Gardener class offered by the University of Idaho Extension in Fremont County. Classes start Jan. 14, and end on April 8. Registration costs $80 for an individual and $140 for a couple. Registration for those wishing to take the class but who do not want to pursue their Master Gardener certification costs $125.

“We cover literally every gardening topic you could ever need to know to get you started gardening and started into the Master Gardener program,” University of Idaho Extension Office Educator Lance Ellis said.

Classes are offered at two different times during the week. Either Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. or Wednesdays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. To receive the Master Gardener certification, attendees will need to give 36 hours of volunteer time to their community.

“That can be in the form of — let’s say you completed the Master Gardener program, and somebody says, ‘Hey, I have a group that’s getting together, and we need someone to talk about growing vegetables. Can you do that?’ So they then take some time to prepare a presentation, the give that presentation and all of that then counts towards their volunteer hours,” Ellis said.

He said the hope is that people will take back to their communities the things they learn throughout the program.

“We take and we educate 25 people, for example, and then they take it out into their communities, and it has a huge ripple effect. And we do this every year to help improve people’s gardening skills and gardening abilities,” Ellis said.

He said that is why they offer the program at a low cost.

“If you were to take this program and go through the Master Gardener program in Colorado, you’d be (paying) over $400,” Ellis said.

To register for the class, call the University of Idaho Fremont County Extension Office at (208) 624-3102 or email Ellis at ellis@uidaho.edu.

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