Johnson County resident completes Master Gardener graduate training
For the first time in nearly 15 years, Johnson County has a Master Gardener graduate.
Carmen Dixon completed the 11-week training and will be completing volunteer hours over the next year.
Part of her volunteering will include submitting articles to local papers, giving presentations to groups and helping to answer questions from the community.
During April, every Tuesday morning from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Dixon is scheduled to be available at the Johnson County Extension office to answer questions, either in person or over the telephone.
Dixon said that she is “very excited to bring this service to the area.”
The University of Illinois offers a Master Gardening program, usually beginning the last week in January, and is one day a week for 11 weeks.
Lectures are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an hour off for lunch and a 10-minute rest break morning and afternoon. Classes meet at the Extension office in Vienna.
The cost of the class is $150 and includes a very large manual given to students which includes the lecture material. The manual is a comprehensive work for students so they are able to help answer inquiries from gardeners.
All of the speakers are gardening experts from the University of Illinois.
After attending about 60 hours of lectures, Master Gardeners must volunteer 60 hours during the first year to complete your certification and then 30 hours each year thereafter to keep your certification up to date.
County Extension director Jody Johnson believes that Dixon is the first Master Gardener trainee the county has had in probably 15 years.
Those who are involved with the program say that several more are needed.
To learn more about the Master Gardener program, contact a local Extension office: Anna 833-6363; Metropolis 524-2270; Mounds 745-5200; and Vienna 658-5321.