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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Register now for URI Master Gardener training course

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 28, 2005 – To be considered a “master” in most fields of endeavor takes years of work and training. To become a master gardener, however, takes just one 16-week class and 50 hours of volunteer service.

Gardeners interested in expanding their horticultural horizons may register for the 2006 University of Rhode Island Master Gardener training course, sponsored by the URI Cooperative Extension. Designed specifically for home gardeners, the class is held every Wednesday night from Jan. 18 through May 3.

URI faculty, Cooperative Extension staff and local experts teach the class, and topics run the gamut from pruning and plant physiology to pesticide safety and plant pathology.

To earn the designation of URI Master Gardener, graduates of the training program agree to complete 50 hours of volunteer service work with the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center. Certified URI Master Gardeners become official Cooperative Extension educational agents and work closely with University faculty and staff to provide horticultural services and information to the public.

“More than 1,600 Rhode Islanders have enrolled in the Master Gardener training program since its inception in 1977,” said Marion Gold, director of the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center. “They have both honed their horticultural skills and found satisfaction in sharing their new expertise with the Rhode Island community.”

URI Master Gardeners deliver horticultural presentations and workshops across the state. They staff the URI gardening hotline, help develop and maintain the URI demonstration gardens, exhibit gardening information at events around the state, and assist with a wide range of on-going research programs with faculty.

“The Rhode Island landscape is truly greener because of the URI Master Gardeners,” Gold said.

Deadline for registering for the course is January 1, 2006. The course fee is $250. Applications are available by calling the Master Gardener program office at 401-874-2929 or through the URI Master Gardener website at www.urimga.org.