Journal Tribune speaks with Tkacik about Master Gardener Volunteer Program

The Biddeford Journal Tribune spoke with Susan Tkacik, a community education assistant with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, about UMaine Extension’s Master Gardener Volunteer Program in York County. The program is intended for people interested in learning about different areas of horticulture to grow their own plants, and will cover topics including soils; botany; seed starting; ornamental horticulture; growing herbs, fruits and vegetables; composting; landscaping; pruning; and pest management, the article states. “Anyone who takes the class must volunteer hours to be certified,” said Tkacik. These hours go toward community gardening projects like Maine Harvest for Hunger or Kids Can Grow, and certified Master Gardeners must contribute a certain number of hours to remain active, according to Tkacik. The application deadline for the 2019 program is 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Classes will meet Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center in Springvale beginning Jan. 30 and running through mid-June. According to Tkacik, the York County program has been active since the 1980s. Its members range from student-age participants to members who have been involved since the program’s beginning, and the program is thriving because of benefits to both the community and the volunteers themselves. “They form a sense of community with like-minded people. This offers a chance for growth among a community in more ways than one,” said Tkacik. More information about the program is online.