Volunteering with OSU Extension is a valuable experience to have

January 8th, 2010    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Community

Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to change lives, including your own.

In these hard times, there are many ways that we can give back. From working with local schools, helping our neighbors, sending care packages to our troops, to working with food pantries and soup kitchens; we all benefit from volunteering whether we are the giver or the receiver.

The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension, provides an opportunity for people to become more involved within Clermont County and their individual communities by becoming a Master Gardener.

With the OSU Master Gardener program, you not only give back to your community but you also learn valuable horticulture techniques to take back and use in your own garden all while building lasting relationships with other "green"-minded individuals.

OSU Extension, Clermont County will be hosting a Master Gardener training program for 2010. This college-level training will be held every Wednesday, from February 3, 2010 through March 24, 2010. The training time will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost of program is $250 ($100 refund is given when class participants complete 50 hours of volunteer time in the first year) plus the cost of State Background Check, payable upon acceptance into the program and prior to February 3, 2010.

The OSU Master Gardener's program mission is to provide knowledge to and develop the leadership abilities of volunteers who, in turn, enable others to improve the quality of their lives by enhancing their skills and community environments through horticulture education and activities.

Clermont County Master Gardeners are involved in various projects involving historical plantings, theme gardening, and youth programming. One of the local projects that the Clermont County Master Gardeners have lent a helping hand to is the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) Garden Project.

Once a month a Master Gardener volunteer teaches youth at the JDC about gardening or other horticultural topics to help them learn skills that would enable them to further their education or attain a job later on in life.

The goal is to further this educational experience by developing an outdoor learning lab so that youth will be able to not only learn about horticulture in a classroom setting but make it more meaningful by allowing them to get their hands in the soil!

If you would like to learn more about other projects the Clermont County Master Gardeners are working with or have additional questions, please contact Cindy Burskey, OSU Extension Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator at (513) 732-7070.

Applications are also available by going to www.clermont.osu.edu. All applications should be postmarked by Jan. 8, 2010.
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