In the Garden
Become a master gardener
Have you ever wondered if you would enjoy being a master gardener? If you are interested in learning about horticulture and teaching it to others, you may want to consider applying for the program.
Applications for the next class of Master Gardeners in Henrico County are being accepted now. Training begins in January.
The class is limited to 24 participants, and the cost is $135. A personal interview is required as part of the admissions process.
“We’re looking for someone who has a true interest in learning more about horticulture and who wants to help impart that knowledge to others,” says Jim Smith, a Henrico Master Gardener who serves on the training committee.
Those selected for the program receive intensive training in horticulture and related subjects in exchange for a 50-hour volunteer commitment in the first year.
“We want people who are interested in staying for more than one year,” adds Smith who has been with the program since 1996.
Master Gardeners staff a telephone helpline, give plant clinics, provide plant diagnostic services, teach classes in schools, and take on other projects approved by the Extension Service.
“Our Master Gardeners have made such a difference,” says Lisa Sanderson, the Henrico Extension Agent who has coordinated the program in Henrico for the last five years. “Their volunteer hours add up to the equivalent of between five and six additional Extension staff members.”
“Since 2009, Henrico Master Gardeners have logged more than 10,000 educational contacts,” she adds.
Classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Henrico County Human Services Building on Parham Road. Classes run from Jan. 22 until the end of March. Before the first class, participants are paired with mentors at a luncheon on Jan. 10, 2013. During the course of the program, participants are required to take open-book mid-term and final examinations.
The tuition covers the cost of the instruction, the Master Gardener training manual, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Pest Management Guide.
Classes are taught by a variety of instructors with expertise in specific fields. Topics include basic biology, plant propagation and diagnostics for diseases and insects, pruning, lawn care, fruit and vegetable gardening, flower gardening, indoor plant care, and landscape design.
“We cover a lot of material in a relatively short period of time,” says Sanderson.
“The training is very comprehensive,” she adds. “You don’t have to be a well-seasoned gardener before you enter the program. You just have to be committed to learning and volunteering.”
Of all her job duties, Sanderson says she enjoys working with the Master Gardeners most. “The people are really wonderful,” she says.
“I can truly say being a Henrico Master Gardener has been a joy,” adds Jim Smith. “I’m an environmentalist and a conservationist, and I’m able to make a contribution.”
Smith also enjoys working with the Henrico Master Gardener Association, which helps administer the program. “I really enjoy the administrative and management part,” he says.
The application is available online, or you can call the Extension Office at 501-5160 to have one mailed to you. The application deadline is Oct. 26.
As part of its 30th anniversary year and partnership with the Children's Museum of Richmond, Commonwealth Parenting will present a six-part RVA Parents Forum Series to address some of the toughest issues confronting parents.
Parenting experts and family educators will tackle topics ranging from bullying to alcohol, sex to divorce, and technology and stress. Parents will learn how to identify potential problems.
"We're excited about bringing this much-needed forum series to parents in central Virginia. Through our valuable partnership with Commonwealth Parenting, we can have a deeper impact in the community through parent and caregiver education," said Karen Coltrane, president and CEO of the Children's Museum of Richmond. > Read more.
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Check out these three B’s in Henrico this weekend: books, bluegrass and “Born Yesterday.” Other activities to participate in – and feel good about – are the 15th annual James River Regional Cleanup and the 5th annual Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Inspirational football movie tries too hard for its own good
When the Game Stands Tall is based on a true story – an unbelievable true story that takes the word “inspiring” about as far as it can go.
It’s a film about Bob Ladouceur, coach of the De La Salle High Spartans, a California high school football team with 12 consecutive undefeated seasons (a staggering 151 games won in a row).
Along the way, Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel) faced the kind of hardship most football coaches (thankfully) can only imagine – suffering a near-fatal heart attack, the death of a star player, and rebuilding the team after that 151-game streak came to a humiliating end. > Read more.
Enjoy political comedy at its finest with The Capitol Steps at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Methodist and Baptist churches unite for the fourth annual Mission Footprint 5K, taking place at Trinity UMC. Or in honor of Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, treat them to A Grand Family Affair or maybe a movie – the 1978 film “Superman” is at the Henrico Theatre. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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