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Signup under way for young gardeners program

The Allen County Master Gardener Youth program has openings for its award-winning summer educational program offered by Purdue Cooperative Extension to children and young adults between 8 and 18 years old.

The program features teaching sessions three days each week by Master Gardeners and area gardening experts.

Hands-on training, tours and outdoor labs are emphasized. Each summer, the “Earth Tenders” also plant and maintain their own garden area at the Youth Garden located at the Extension Office Display Gardens, the Extension office said in a written statement.

Earth Tenders who attend class sessions regularly, perform community service, and complete a final project become certified Allen County Youth Master Gardeners. Since 1997, more than 150 children have completed the program.

Training sessions will be held at the Allen County Extension office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Class sessions will begin June 13 and conclude in mid-July.

The young adults will plant and tend their individual plots throughout the summer. The fee for the training is $30, which is due at the first orientation session.

If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener Youth Volunteer, visit or contact the Allen County Extension office at 481-6826 (option 3) and ask for an application – or visit its website at (click on Yard & Garden and then Volunteer Opportunities).

The Purdue Master Gardener Youth volunteer training program is limited to 15 students each year.

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer), Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer), Frank Noonan (copy editor) and Cathie Rowand (photographer)