SUBMITTED TO THE COMMUNIQUE
The growing season is a busy time for the Western Area/Washoe County horticulture team. We invest additional time into our own home gardens and landscapes and we provide community outreach and education programs to help homeowners and landscapers in our corner of Nevada do the same.
Our Western Area’s year-round “Ask a Master Gardener” outreach program will experience an increase in demand for its in-office, phone hotline and email landscaping and gardening assistance in the coming warmer months. In the course of one year, this program provides over 9,000 hours of service (the equivalent of 5 full-time employees) as its volunteers give face-to-face help to nearly 14,000 people and answer nearly 13,000 phone calls and emails (www.unce.unr.edu).
The horticulture staff will provide several community education programs such as Grow Your Own! and Gardening in Nevada: Bartley Ranch this spring. “The Grow Your Own, Nevada program makes more than 2,400 contacts with citizens annually, reaching out to communities, including tribal areas, across the state” (www.unce.unr.edu) and Gardening in Nevada: Bartley Ranch has had as many as 176 participants attend a single class!
In addition to helping the community grow their own fruits and vegetables and landscape water-efficiently, we’re also providing Green Industry Training and its accompanying continuing education program and Weed Warriors classes for Reno, Carson City/Storey County and Douglas County area green industry professionals.
Last year, the Green Industry Training Programs of northern Nevada have “trained almost 300 Green Industry members and provided them with continuing education that benefits their career and the community in which they are employed” (www.unce.unr.edu) and we’re looking forward to training even more industry members this year.
The 8-hour Weed Warrior program provides basic training in weed law, identification, biology and integrated pest management. Course participants learn to identify and control 12 noxious weeds. Many participants volunteer to help Nevada with its noxious control problem. Last year, such volunteers provided nearly $3,000 worth of labor which lead to “an overall 80 percent reduction in weed population” (www.unce.unr.edu) at three different volunteer-managed noxious weed-infested areas.
And, as always, the coming of spring brings with it a brand new Master Gardener Training Program class and the accompanying Advanced Master Gardener Training Program classes in Reno, Carson City/Storey County and Douglas County. New Master Gardeners will receive 60+ hours of education. The new and advanced Master Gardener volunteers will each serve at least 50 hours in the coming year in Master Gardener volunteer projects such as the “Ask a Master Gardener” program described above!
To view a calendar of upcoming horticulture classes and to download class flyers and registration forms, please visit www.growyourownnevada.com. To learn more about how these programs impact the state, visit http://www.unce.unr.edu/programs/horticulture/.
2012 Schedule of Horticulture Events:
Classes geared towards industry professionals:
- Green Industry Training: Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 17 through February 9, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Reno office.
- Green Industry Continuing Education Series: The second Wednesday of each month, beginning in January, 12 noon – 1 p.m. Reno and Carson City offices.
- Weed Warriors: May 16, 1-5 p.m. AND May 7th, 8 a.m. – 12 noon. Reno, Carson City and Douglas offices.
Classes for the home gardener:
- Grow Your Own! spring session: Wednesdays, February 8 through March 28, 6-8 p.m. Fall session: Mondays, July 9 through August 27, 2-4 p.m. Statewide.
- Gardening in Nevada: Bartley Ranch: Tuesdays, February 1 – March 29, 6-8 p.m. Reno.
Classes for our Master Gardeners:
- Master Gardener Training Program: Mondays and Tuesdays, March 5 – May 1, 9 a.m. – 12 noon. Reno, Carson City and Douglas offices.
- Advanced Master Gardener Training Program: Provided mid-month, every month in at least one Western Area office, times vary.