Goshen News, Goshen, IN

December 21, 2012

Local residents complete Master Gardener course work


— GOSHEN — Recent cold weather has not cooled the excitement of local gardeners who have completed the first phase of the Elkhart County Master Gardener program.

Jeff Burbrink, Extension educator with the Purdue Extension Service in Elkhart County and coordinator of the local Master Gardener program, explained that Master Gardeners is a volunteer training program, not just a series of gardening classes.

Participants have been attending training for the past four months and have passed an exam. The participants will now be giving volunteer time back to the community in exchange for the knowledge they have gained. The focus of the volunteer time is education, with the intent of making the area a better place to live.

The Master Gardener class of 2012 is planning to offer several classes this winter and spring on gardening related subjects. Brochures for the Master Gardener seminars will be available soon at local garden centers in Elkhart County. In addition, Master Gardeners are available to help with groups in the community, including schools, service clubs and church groups. The Master Gardeners also operate a horticultural hotline at the Extension Office from April through September each year. More than 1,000 horticultural questions were answered in 2012 through the hotline.

This is the 18th Master Gardener class that has been held in Elkhart County since the program was started in 1996. The next training for Master Gardeners will be offered in the fall of 2013. Burbrink suggested that interested people call Purdue Extension Office in Goshen at 574- 533-0554 to be placed on a mailing list for an application.


Members of the 2012 Elkhart County Master Gardener class are Starla Beachy, Wakarusa; Poorna Bhagat, Goshen; Jeny Davis, Goshen; James Goodwin, Edwardsburg, Mich.; Gina Haney, Elkhart; Susan Jones, Goshen; Nathan Kingsley, Goshen; Phyllis Kulp, New Paris; Dean Linsenmeyer, Goshen; Anne Regier, Bristol; Katie Sautter, Bristol; Ron Troyer, Elkhart; Patrick Weaver, Elkhart; Gail Weybright, Milford; and Jenny Wisolek, Elkhart.