BUMBLEBEE TALK: A local gardening expert will give a free presentation later this month on bumblebees and their role in pollination.

Mary Jo Flemming, a Chippewa Valley master gardener, will give the talk at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 19 at the Eau Claire County UW Extension office, 227 First St. W., Altoona.

Flemming will explain how native bumblebees are different from honeybees, but why both are involved in pollination. She also will explain the life cycle of bumblebees, how they survive winter and what gardeners can do to encourage them in our landscaping.

There is no registration required for attending the presentation. Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be awarded.

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MASTER GARDENER TRAINING: A 9-week training course for people who want to become master gardener volunteers will start on Sept. 11 in St. Croix County.

The 36-hour course will be taught over eight Wednesday evenings and two Saturday mornings at the St. Croix County Agricultural Service and Education Center, 1960 8th Ave., Baldwin.

Participants will learn about basic botany, soils and composting, plant diseases, insects, woody trees and shrubs, annuals and perennials, lawn care, vegetables, fruits, wildlife, native plants, weeds, organic growing and houseplants.

The class will be evenings on Sept. 11, 18 and 25, Oct. 2, 9, 23 and 30 and Nov. 13, and on the mornings of Oct. 19 and Nov. 9.

There is a $60 course fee, which includes course materials. In addition, participants are required to provide 24 hours of community volunteering related to plants or gardening.

For more information or to enroll, call 715-273-6781 or email diana.alfuth@wisc.edu.

From staff reports