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Colorado Master Gardeners: Become a Master Gardener

Routt County Master Gardeners at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail.
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CSU Master Gardeners are available to answer questions from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Thursday at the Extension Office. Stop by 136 Sixth Street, call them at 970-870-5241 or email to csumgprogram@co.r...

The summer gardening season is officially over. If the killing frosts we’ve gotten haven’t convinced you, maybe the falling leaves have. And if that’s not enough evidence, the calendar finally confirms it: We are now into autumn, and that not only means the end of the growing season, but also the end of this weekly column until next spring.

You probably noticed the column was different this season. As we mentioned last spring, longtime Colorado Master Gardener writer and column coordinator Deb Babcock retired from her article duties last fall. Vicky Barney coordinated the column this season, and you read articles by many different Routt County Colorado Master Gardeners. Our hope is that you found them educational and enjoyable.

This was a busy season for our group, with keeping this weekly series going, as well as participating in a number of other activities. Our Master Gardeners taught the yearly Gardening 101 series in cooperation with Bud Werner Memorial Library, helped folks with gardening questions at the Steamboat Home and Expo and the Hayden Wellness Fair, answered gardening and yard questions at Ace Hardware, acted as docents for garden tours, trained Junior Master Gardeners, staffed the question-and-answer desk at the CSU Extension office and visited many homes throughout the area to look at tree, lawn and garden issues.



Additionally, they spent countless hours maintaining demonstration gardens across the county.

If you were at any of these events or if you’re a regular reader of this column, you might be wondering about these volunteers and how they earned the right to become Colorado Master Gardeners. The Master Gardener program is a program of Colorado State University, and the title Colorado Master Gardener is actually a trademarked term used only by CSU trained, certified and active volunteers.



Volunteers have gone through a rigorous training program taught by CSU professors and Extension professionals and must follow up that training with 50 hours of hands-on volunteer work with the communities in which they reside.

The Routt County Colorado Master Gardener group numbers about 45, which, for the size of our county population, is quite large. While some volunteers complete their initial 50 hours and move on, most of the volunteers enjoy the program so much they continue to volunteer for many years. People do move on, however, which means we are looking for new Colorado Master Gardeners every year.

If you are interested in learning more about gardening and want to become part of our fun volunteer group, the 2017 CSU Master Gardener training will begin again in mid-January. Classes are held locally from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays. While it may cost a bit more, if you’re not able to commit to the volunteer portion of the program, you can attend the classes to obtain a Colorado Gardening Certificate, instead.

Becoming a Master Gardener is hard work, but it’s also rewarding and fun. If you are interested in becoming a Colorado Master Gardener, visit the CSU Extension office at 136 Sixth Street, call us at 970-879-0825 or email csumgprogram@co.routt.co.us

See you next spring or in class this winter.

Todd Hagenbuch is the agriculture extension agent for Colorado State University Routt County Extension.


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