WHAT IS JUNIOR MASTER GARDENER?
The Junior Master Gardener (JMG) program is an international youth gardening program of the university cooperative Extension network. JMG engages children in novel, “hands-on” group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind.
2022 JUNIOR MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM AT HILLTOP
The Junior Master Gardener Program at Hilltop provides a fun, interactive environment for youth to learn about gardening. The Junior Master Gardener Program at Hilltop is for youth ages 10 to 13 and is free. The program will mainly focus on growing edible plants (including fruits, vegetables, and herbs) as well as flowers.
The 2022 Junior Master Gardener Program at Hilltop will run June 13th through August 6th. Participants will register for one of two time slots, Thursdays from 6:30pm – 8pm or Saturdays from 10am to 11:30am, and will come to Hilltop every week during the time slot they’ve registered for. After August 6th, during Hilltop’s open hours the program participants (accompanied by their parents) may continue to come to Hilltop to tend to their garden plot and harvest from it, however no formal programming will be offered. There are a limited number of spaces available, so please only register if you are able to commit to consistent program attendance and participation. The 2022 program will introduce participants to gardening through a variety of activities from the different Junior Master Gardener curriculums. The 2022 program will not focus on meeting “certification” requirements.
Participants in the program receive weekly gardening instruction through hands-on gardening activities. Each participant is provided with a garden plot at Hilltop that they maintain through the 2022 growing season. Plants, seeds, fertilizer, tools, and materials are provided; however, participants are welcome to bring their own seeds or plants. Participants take home the produce and flowers grown in their garden plot as well as additional herbs grown at Hilltop.
The 2022 program runs from June 13th through August 6th, and participants are expected to attend each week. If a participant will not be able to attend one week, please notify the instructor. Because maintaining a garden plot requires weekly attention, participants who do not attend for more than 2 consecutive weeks will forfeit their garden plot and their spot in the program (unless absence is related to COVID-19).
Part of the learning experience for participants is taking responsibility for the care and maintenance of their own designated garden plot. Maintenance includes watering, harvesting, and weeding both their designated garden plot and the pathways surrounding it. Consistent garden upkeep is essential to pest and invasive weed prevention. Hilltop staff will be available to provide program participants with support and assistance in maintaining their designated garden plot, but maintaining the plot is the responsibility of the participating youth.
Tools are available for participants to use while working in their garden plot at Hilltop. All program participants are responsible for cleaning and putting away tools, gloves, and other materials in their proper location every time. Participants using hoses are responsible for rolling them up neatly after use to prevent tripping hazards.
Close-toed shoes are required to protect feet and toes. On warm days, we recommend program participants bring a water bottle to stay hydrated while working outside in the gardens. While it is very uncommon that someone gets stung by an insect while at Hilltop, if a program participant has a bee allergy they should bring an epi-pen every time they are at Hilltop and be prepared to self-administer.
The 2022 Junior Master Gardener program will take place outdoors. The Historic Council Ring/Outdoor Classroom at Hilltop, which includes benches and picnic tables, will be utilized as the learning space (rather than the indoor classroom). When weather doesn’t allow for outdoor learning, participants will be notified if the program is canceled that day. Program participants should not come to Hilltop if within the past two weeks they: (1) have had symptoms of COVID-19, (2) have tested positive for COVID-19, or (3) have been in contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Program participants are expected to demonstrate care, respect, and responsibility at all times while at Hilltop.
Registration is required. Click here to complete the registration form. A limited number of spaces are available in the program. Once those spaces have been filled, the registration link will be inactivated. The registration deadline is 5pm on Sunday, June 12th (or whenever all spots have been filled before that).
Thank you to the Monroe County Master Gardener Association, the Bloomington Garden Club, and the George E. Archer Foundation for their support of the Junior Master Gardener programs at Hilltop.