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Colorado State University Extension in Chaffee County is seeking applicants interested in becoming Colorado Master Gardeners.

The Colorado Master Gardener Program is designed to help county or area Extension offices meet increasing demands by the gardening public for unbiased, research-based information.

It is a program that enlists volunteers, trained by professional staff, to help educate and assist local residents through direct contact, classes and a variety of other methods, representing the Chaffee County Extension Office.

Current employees of the horticultural industry can also participate in these classes for continuing education for a higher fee without the time commitment of volunteer hours.

Colorado Master Gardeners are members of the local community who have an interest in horticulture.

Colorado Master Gardener training in our community this year will be more tailored for those gardening in mountain communities and will feature additional teachers from around the state who are experts in horticulture and related fields.

The training will also be 100-percent virtual in early 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part of the educational process consists of 50 hours spent as an apprentice in the Chaffee County Extension Office during the growing season, from April to October.

Applications can be picked up at the Chaffee County Extension Office at the fair grounds, or are available electronically and must be returned no later than Dec. 4.

For those wanting to take the course, but cannot give the required volunteer time back to the program, this course is also available for a higher registration fee.

Fees for Master Gardener volunteers will be $200 plus 50 hours of volunteer service; Gardener Certificate students’ fees will be $530 (with no volunteer commitment).

Classes begin on Jan. 6 through April 12 on a weekly basis.

Applications may be accessed online at https://cmg.extension.colostate.edu/ along with more program details.

719-539-6447 or via email at kurt.jones@colostate.edu .

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