Do you enjoy spending your free time growing a garden or taking
care of the lawn? Do you look forward to tending your flower bed or
house plants? Do you like working with friends and neighbors to help
improve the looks of your community? If you answered yes to these
questions, you should consider becoming a Master Gardener (MG).
According to Janet Carson, Arkansas Extension Horticulture
Specialist, Arkansas adopted the Master Gardener program in 1988 in
four counties, and it has since expanded to over 60 counties. Carson
serves as the state coordinator for the MG program.
The main focus for the MG program is to identify and train
community leaders with an interest in horticulture. Once trained,
Master Gardener graduates work closely with their local Extension
office and other community organizations to plan, establish, and
maintain horticultural projects and educational events to enhance
their communities. Master Gardeners often sponsor events that
support youth gardening, plant therapy work with hospitals and
nursing homes, city beautification, and horticulture information.
To be a certified Master Gardener, applicants must receive 40
hours of initial horticultural training. Botany, soil science, plant
propagation, pest management, pesticide and herbicide usage,
vegetable and ornamental plant gardening, plant and weed
identification, pruning and other horticulture related subjects will
be covered. In exchange, Master Gardeners donate back the same
amount of hours to their local communities with projects and events
their group plans.
After their first year as a MG, 20 hours of volunteer time and 20
hours of horticulture related learning are required to continue as
an official Master Gardener. Check out the Arkansas Extension
website for more information. Go to:
Complete this Mississippi County Master Gardener application form
and return it to the County Extension office if you are interested
in becoming a Master Gardener.
The U of A Master Gardener program is open to anyone who would
like to apply, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion,
gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other
legally protected status. Persons with disabilities who require
alternative means for communication of program information (large
print, audiotapes, etc.) should notify the county Extension office
(or other appropriate office) as soon as possible prior to the