Jasper County

Jasper County Master Gardeners

The Missouri Master Gardener Program is a public service program offered by Missouri University. Master Gardeners are volunteers that work to extend the knowledge of the University in cooperation with the Pulaski County Extension office. They are a group of highly trained volunteers that teach classes in school gardens, provide advice and education in community gardens, maintain demonstration gardens that illustrate a variety of gardening methods, deliver gardening information to radio stations, and host gardening fairs and seminars for the public. Master Gardeners help others learn about sustainable gardening methods. They provide reliable and research-based horticultural programming Missouri residents. We are members of the local community that have taken an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic individuals that are willing to learn and help others and are able to communicate with diverse groups of people.

Any resident with an interest in gardening, novice or expert, may take the Master Gardener Core Course. All you have to do is follow these steps:

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    1. Apply to attend the training in a location near you.

    Find out about local programming on the Pulaski County Master Gardeners website.

    Pulaski County Master Gardeners

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    2. Submit and pass the background check

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    3. Complete the Extension Master Gardener core training

    30 hours of plant education offered in the fall: August through November

    Courses are taught by Missouri University faculty, local experts & MU Extension educators

    Topics include: Vegetables, compost and soil, flowers, fruits, turf grass, landscape design, woody landscape plants, plant propagation, integrated pest management, plant diseases and insects.

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    4. Volunteer in your community

    Complete the 30-hour internship by December 31 of the following year. Volunteer on projects and at events to teach plants in the community.

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    5. Stay involved

    Master Gardeners can remain active members in following years by attending six or more hours of continuing education and contributing 20 hours or more of volunteer community service.

    Report your volunteer and continuing education hours online by December 31st of each year.

Master Gardeners moving from other states are evaluated on a case-by-case basis through discussion with the individual, local coordinator, and State Coordinator.

At the heart of the Missouri Master Gardener program is our volunteers. Volunteers assist the University of Missouri Extension Service personnel to extend the educational arm of the university to the public by providing horticultural information based on university research and recommendations.

In other words, the Missouri Master Gardener program is a place for volunteers to have a fun, educational experience while serving the community in which they live while doing what they love.

Ozark Gateway chapter

In Jasper County, a participant must receive 30 hours of classroom instruction and agree to volunteer 30 hours back to the community. A participant must complete 20 hours of volunteer service, plus an additional six hours of continuing education yearly. The volunteer service has taken on many forms. Several have participated in community garden and community beautification projects. Some have given programs to various school groups, gardening clubs and residential care units. Others have provided assistance with a helpline in the University of Missouri Extension Center during the summer months. A fee is charged to cover the cost of the course core manual, handouts and other expenses. Other arrangements can be made if a participant does not wish to contribute volunteer hours.

The annual course covers a wide variety of topics including trees and shrubs, annuals and perennials, lawns, soils and fertility, pest management, control of invasive and noxious weeds and pests, fruits and vegetables, Season extension with cold frames, hoop houses and high tunnels will also be covered. Organic methods and traditional methods will be discussed and you will be introduced to research on new crops for this area. In the final part of the course you will learn the best ways to help others learn to grow.

Plant sale

The chapter's annual plant sale is usually held in May. Plants are sold at reasonable prices and include perennials, bedding plants, bulbs, trees, natives and other seasonal plants

Community projects

Master Gardeners in Jasper County maintain gardens at the Carthage Public Library, the Joplin Library, a community garden at Crosslines in Joplin, and a demonstration garden at Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center.

Scholarships awarded

The Ozark Gateway Master Gardeners have awarded scholarships to two local students.

The recipients of the 2019 Ozark Gateway Master Gardeners Horticulture Scholarships are:$250 for Lydia Rockers of Carthage, Mo, to study Food Science at Oklahoma State University. Eli Meyer of Sarcoxie, Mo also received $250 to study Turf and Landscape Management at Ozarks Technical Community College. The awards were presented by Chuck Evans, Ozark Gateway Master Gardeners president and Robert Balek, MU Extension horticulture specialist and Master Gardener coordinator.

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