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Another Training Program Will Start This Autumn

May 10, 2012

[FERNDALE] – Sullivan County now has twenty new Master Gardeners.  The class completed its intensive 15-week training program through Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Sullivan County on May 8. 

The newly graduated class has already begun to give back.  As part of the program, individuals are required to perform 100 hours of community service – teaching what they have learned.  Many are staffing the CCE Helpline at 845-292-6180, which is available on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Groups interested in having Master Gardeners assist with a project should see the “Guidelines for Requesting Master Gardener Assistance”and complete the project request form.  Go to

Master Gardeners will also hold a “Butterfly Workshop” on Wednesday, May 30 at 5:30 p.m. and – back by popular demand – the Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, June 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Both events are at the Gerald J. Skoda Extension Center in Ferndale. 

Begun in 1975 in New York State, the Master Gardeners Program combines a set curriculum, learning experiences and tutoring.  The program provides home and community gardeners with unbiased gardening information based on research and reliable experience.  Community service is mandatory as part of this “neighbors teaching neighbors” approach. 

“It has been a pleasure to feel the energy of this class every Tuesday for the last several months of training,” said Lydia Reidy, the Sullivan County CCE Interim Executive Director. “Master Gardener training is a core program of Cornell Cooperative Extension throughout New York State and we are very happy to graduate our first Sullivan County class in many years.”

Cornell Cooperative Extension staff from both Ulster and Sullivan counties provided the training, led by Dona Crawford, Ulster’s Master Gardener Coordinator, and Susan Dollard, Sullivan’s Master Gardener Coordinator.  Sullivan Renaissance collaborated with CCE to help fund the program and identify both volunteers and service opportunities.

A second class of master gardener training will be held this fall.  Applications are available from Cornell Cooperative Extension and from Sullivan Renaissance.  Cost is $200 with $50 returned to those who complete the training and the requisite 100 hours of community service.

Individuals should check “Master Gardener” in the section “Volunteer Position.”  Completed applications must be returned to: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road, Liberty, NY  12754.  Applicants may be asked for an interview and are subject to a criminal background check.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is a statewide educational organization funded by national, state and county governments – that helps New York residents put research-based knowledge to work.  For information call 845-292-6180 or visit 

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  Sponsors include Bold Gold Media Group/Thunder 102, FisherMears Associates, Robert Green Dealerships, Sullivan County Democrat, The River Reporter, Thompson Sanitation and WSUL/WVOS.  For information call Sullivan Renaissance at 845-295-2445 or visit