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Want to be a Master Gardener? 2021 Course Now Accepting Applications in Clay County!

The time has come to start your application for the 2021 UF/IFAS Extension Clay County Master Gardener Volunteer training!  Read below for a big about our awesome group and how to apply!

Who We Are

Mo, Susan, and Linda at the Plant Clinic Booth at the 2019 Clay County Fair. (Note: Photograph was taken prior to COVID-19 pandemic)

The UF/IFAS Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program strives to be the premier source of horticultural education in our state and the Clay County group is up to this challenge.  We have over 75 active volunteers working a wide variety of projects including school gardens, teaching workshops, planning events and fundraisers, answering questions at our plant clinics, teaching at the Clay County Fair, working in educational demonstration gardens, and coming up with innovative programs to help our growing communities.  In 2019, they volunteered over 7500 hours to the public and we work to keep expanding our outreach each year.

Part of this expansion is looking for people who are passionate about horticulture and want to make a difference to become Master Gardener Volunteers.

How to Apply

To apply, fill out the application –Master Gardener Application Packet 2021

Master Gardener Volunteer Laurie Edelman working with hydroponic vegetables at Bannerman Learning Center. (Note: Photograph was taken prior to COVID-19 pandemic)

Please either fill it out electronically and email to mdalters@ufl.edu or mail to 2463 State Road 16W, Green Cove Springs, FL  32043.  You can also print it out and fill it by hand as well and we have copies at our office if you would like to stop by and pick one up.  We are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm and are located at the address listed above (right in front of the Clay County Fairgrounds, at the corner of 16 and Springbank. The deadline for all applications is 4/1/2021.  Once applications are received, all applicants will schedule a meeting with our coordinator and some volunteers so we can get to know you as well as to share information about the program and our services.

After the interview, you will know about your acceptance into the program by May 1st, 2021.  If accepted, you will need to then pay the course fee of $150 which covers your manual and reference books.  Classes will begin on June 11th 2021.

Course Structure

Training will begin in June and will consist of 6, half day programs that will consist of hands-on labs, group discussion and activities, garden tours, and more.  You are required to complete all 6 of these classes to graduate but we do work with you in case circumstances require you to miss a class.  For more detail see our tentative syllabus here: 2021 MG Training- Tentative Syllabus

In addition to in-person classes, we are also using online education this year where there will be some presentations and assignments to complete each week before class.  This is done so we can make the class more accessible to people who cannot attend as many day-time classes and provide more time in class for hands-on, interactive activities.

After the Class

Once finished with the class, trainees will be required to complete 75 volunteer hours to become a Master Gardener but we plan on having a flexible policy on the timeframe and do understand that some individuals may not be able or comfortable with volunteering until conditions improve.  We will also work to find each trainee a mentor and help them get involved in projects that interest them throughout the county.  After your first year, all volunteers are required to complete 35 volunteer hours and 10 hours of approved training to remain a certified Master Gardener Volunteer.

Contact Us

If you have any other questions about the program or application, email us at whhobbs@ufl.edu or mdalters@ufl.edu.  We can also be reached by phone at (904)284-6355.  You can also receive an application by visiting our office at 2463 SR 16 W in Green Cove Springs (32043).

Note: All photographs included in this message were taken in 2019 before the