Penn State Cooperative Extension offices in Monroe, Carbon, and Pike counties are now accepting applications for the 2010 Penn State Master Gardener program.

The program consists of a volunteer training course designed to provide experienced home gardeners with the information and skills necessary to share their experience and knowledge with others. Weekly classes will be held on consecutive Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning March 2, and continuing through April 27. The training location for 2010 will be at the Monroe County Cooperative Extension on Phillips Street in Stroudsburg.

In exchange for 46-plus hours of lecture and workshop instruction, candidates must agree to donate 50 or more hours of volunteer service to Penn State Cooperative Extension. Volunteer activities currently carried out by Master Gardeners include providing consumer horticulture assistance by phone, writing gardening news articles, compost and garden workshops and seminars, preparing exhibits, working on demonstration gardens, community greening projects, horticultural therapy, and other programs.

There is a program fee to cover the cost of the Master Gardener manual and other materials, as well as light refreshments for the nine sessions. Lunch will be on your own at the numerous fast-food and assorted restaurants near the program training.

Applications are being accepted through February 5, 2010.

For more information on the program or the entrance fee, contact the Monroe County Penn State Cooperative Extension office located at 724 Phillips Street, Suite 201, Stroudsburg, or call (570) 421-6430.