The Washington State University (WSU) Extension Chelan-Douglas Master Gardener Program is now accepting applications for its basic training course that starts in January.

The primary portion of the training is conducted online through WSU, while the remainder is done via in-person classes which are taught by WSU Extension faculty and staff, as well as Master Gardeners volunteers and other experts.

"The classes cover a range of gardening topics," explains WSU Master Gardeners Coordinator Marco Martinez. "Some of it is a little bit detailed like botany and entomology, but it's all very approachable. Our instructors are all great and they've been teaching these topics for many years and they know what they're doing. It's all a lot of fun actually."

Participants must successfully complete the training and fulfill an internship requirement of at least 55 hours in the first year to become certified as a Master Gardener through WSU.

Martinez says there are many reasons to become a Master Gardener.

"For some people, they want to learn as much as possible about gardening to help themselves out at home with what they're doing there. For a lot of others however, it's a chance to connect with a larger group of folks who have the same interest in gardening, as well as an opportunity to educate the public about gardening."

The deadline to apply for the Master Gardeners course is Nov. 15 and the cost of the training is $175.

Local classes begin on Jan. 20 and will take place every Saturday from then until April 20 at the Douglas County Transportation & Land Services building, 140 19th St. NW in East Wenatchee.

Those interested in applying can find an application form online by clicking here, and contact Martinez for more information at marco.martinez@wsu.edu or phone (509) 667-6540.

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