Master Gardener classes scheduled

For those who want to be a Master Gardener, the chance is coming. The first class of the year will take place 5:30 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m. Feb. 21 in Horace Garrett Building Room 204 at Howard College for those wanting to receive certification to be a Master Gardener. “They have the opportunity to register until the beginning of the class, but if they miss the first class they will have to wait until next year's sessions,” Walter Ward, Howard County Master Gardeners president, said. Registration for the classes is $150, with $50 being refundable after the required community service has been completed. In order to complete the requirements, participants must attend the 17 classes — classes will wrap up in June — provided in the session, which includes 50 hours of training and 50 hours of community service.“Anyone wanting to become a part of the Master Gardeners or become a certified Master Gardener is welcome to attend the classes,” Ward said.This year, the class will not only be held in a different place — Howard College rather than county library — but will be venturing into distance learning. “The Howard County Master Gardeners are the first to utilize distance learning for the sessions,” Ward said. “It is better for the instructors and helps with cost and it's greener.”Some of the topics discussed in the sessions will include soil and fertility, plant science, trees and vegetables and landscape design.Howard County Master Gardener's has 22 members and has been active since 2000. According to Ward, the goal of the group is to enhance knowledge of horticulture in the area. “Our goal is to beautify the locale and state, with an emphasis on Howard County,” Ward said. To register in advance or to find out more information, contact Ward at 432-466-4138 or Julie Coates at 432-213-6553.