What is Extension? Extension is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. The University of Florida (UF) Florida Cooperative Extension Service is located in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and is called UF/IFAS Extension. UF/IFAS Extension encompasses thousands of Extension faculty members, scientists, educators, administrative staff, and volunteers, all working to provide solutions for your life. There are Extension offices in each of Florida's 67 counties.
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Okaloosa County Master Gardeners
What is the Florida Master Gardener Program? This is a volunteer-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the citizens of Florida. It relies on dedicated volunteers who have an interest in Gardening and in giving back to their community. The Master Gardener mission is to assist Extension agents in providing research based horticultural education to Florida residents. The vision of the Master Gardeners is to be the most trusted resource for horticultural education in Florida.
How do you get to be a Master Gardener in Okaloosa County? Prospective Master Gardeners must apply to the program and go through an initial interview process. What follows is a 15-week intensive training course followed by 75 hours of internship under the tutelage of veteran Master Gardeners. Interns must also complete 10 additional hours of continued education within 12 months of the completion of their class.
In order to remain a Master Gardener in Okaloosa County you must complete 35 volunteer hours and 10 learning hours during the membership year.
What do Okaloosa County Master Gardeners do? Our Master Gardeners participate in a wide range of programs and projects. They maintain the Extension education landscapes at the Annex in Ft. Walton Beach as well as the main office in Crestview. They have created and maintain the native plant trail located at the Crestview office.
Master Gardeners are available during the week to answer horticulture questions via telephone, email, and walk-in clients.
Free monthly seminars are offered by our Master Gardeners as well as the monthly plant clinics. Dates and topics may be found on our calendar page.
Master Gardeners are able to provide programs to schools, organizations, garden clubs and civic groups on many topics. Anything from lawns to lichen--insects, butterfly gardening etc. Let us know what topic you want and we probably have an expert that would be willing to oblige. You may call the office or email us with your request for a speaker.