If you want to sharpen your gardening skills and you have an interest in sharing your knowledge with others, Purdue University has a program for you.
Beginning January 22, 2014, a Purdue Master Gardener Program training series will be offered for residents of Lake County and surrounding areas. The Purdue Master Gardener Program is a volunteer training program that provides a learning framework for participants to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects. In turn, participants volunteer, representing Purdue University. As volunteers, participants grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within their communities.
Training will be held on Wednesdays from 1:00-4:00 p.m. or 5:45-8:45 p.m. CST. Participants will be exposed to a wide range of subjects including soil and plant science, diagnosis of plant problems, pesticide safety, and culture of vegetable, flower, landscape, and fruit plants.
Materials and expenses for the series of classes cost $200.00 per participant. This expense fee covers such items as reference notebooks and supplies. These materials all become part of the Master Gardener's personal collection.
While the class will be encouraged to create new educational outreach programs, there are already plenty of opportunities for which volunteers are needed. Some of these projects include the staffing information booths at gardening events, teaching public education classes, speaking to local clubs and organizations, and hand-on demonstration gardens.
Porter County -- The Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County invites Porter County residents and those who work in the county to participate in the new Master Recycler/Composter Program that is scheduled for the spring of 2014.
Participants will learn about waste prevention, recycling, and composting, and have the opportunity to meet others who have similar waste reduction and environmental interests in this extensive eight-week session.
The program will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 5 through March 26, in the meeting room at the Porter County Sheriff’s Department, 2755 State Rd. 49, Valparaiso. The course will feature guest speakers and field trips that will help students gain environmental knowledge beyond the blue bin.
Topics will include: waste prevention, recycling processes, household hazardous waste and alternatives, organics recycling and home composting. Registration is available on the District’s website, www.ItMeansTheWorld.org.
“Reducing the waste that goes into our landfills is much more than placing glass jars, plastics containers, aluminum cans and paper products at the curb,” said Therese Davis, executive director of the Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County. “By paying attention to what we do every day and rethinking our routines, we can further reduce waste and make a difference.”
A fee of $30 will help cover the cost of course materials and is due upon acceptance into the program. Class participants commit to 30 hours of volunteer time to educate and inspire others in their community to reduce waste in the home and at work.
The class is limited to 30 participants. Applicants that apply after the class is full will be placed on a waiting list and notified when the next course is scheduled.
“Volunteer work can include helping out at the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration, teaching a local community group how to incorporate recycling at their special event, educating residents in an apartment or condo complex about recycling opportunities, working booths at special events and more,” Davis said. “We’re open to other great ideas they have about inspiring others to become knowledgeable about waste reduction.”
For more information, visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org or call 465-3819.