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36 Green County residents earn Master Gardener Certification
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MONROE - Thirty-six Green County area residents were recently recognized for earning their Master Gardener Certification at the recent annual meeting of the Green County Master Gardeners Association.

The main functions of the group are to serve the needs of all horticulturists in the Green County area, provide continuing education for its members, provide community services through volunteer activities, exchange gardening ideas, promote responsible and sound gardening practices and provide a link between the community and the University of Wisconsin Extension.

To earn the UW Extension Master Gardener Certification, participants are required to complete 36 hours of classroom training and at least 24 hours of community service. Recertification is required annually. To retain their certification, master gardeners must participate in a minimum of 10 hours of educational development in addition to providing 24 hours of volunteer service each year.

The South Central Wisconsin Master Gardeners Association was formed in Green County in 2004 to provide master gardeners with opportunities for professional development and community service. Over 125 people have been trained since that time. This past year, members of the association volunteered 255 hours of community education and 1,856 hours in community service projects throughout Green County. Their community involvement includes working with Main Street Monroe to design and plant the "Asquarium" on the Square in Monroe and providing square-foot gardens for students in New Glarus schools.

Five master gardener volunteers were honored for achieving 150 hours of service: Sharon Adams, Mary Jackson, Ricky Kiesling, Roseann Meixelsperger and Tamara Schulte. Theresa Colney, Mary Nelson and Paul Roemer were recognized for 250 hours of volunteer service. Lynn Lokken and Cheryl Rezabek were recognized for achieving 500 hours of volunteer service, and Michael Colney was honored for achieving 750 hours of community service.

The South Central Master Gardeners Association meets on the fourth Thursday of the month from February through October. Association officers for 2016 will be Mary Jackson, president; Marilyn Sandin-Ross, vice president; Kristi Leonard, secretary; and Lynn Lokken, treasurer.

UW Extension in Green County will be offering Master Gardener Certification Classes starting from Feb. 23 through April 26. For more details on the classes go to Anyone interested in horticulture and gardening is welcome to join the association. For more information on the UW Extension Master Gardener program contact Mark Mayer, agriculture agent at 608-328-9440.