One very successful program implemented by the JPA is the Master Composter program. The program began in the Victor Valley in the spring of 1999, with participants signing up to receive eight hours of free training in:
- Desert Plants and Xeriscaping
- Grass Mulching
- Composting Essentials
- Biology of Composting
- Vermicomposting (composting with worms)
The program grew rapidly from an initial group of 25 to over 900 Master Composters today in four regional groups: Barstow, Big Bear, Morongo and Victor Valley. As of 2009, there are over 300 in the Victor Valley Master Composter group alone. Some of the trained individuals become active with the Master Composters and have assisted the communities with composting presentations, story times at schools and libraries, and manning booths at various community events.
Each spring, Master Composters help out with the annual Garden Party. In 2008, over 3,000 people attended the event at the Victorville Fairgrounds to learn how to manage and reduce organic waste at their own homes.
Several training times are scheduled in different areas. Training dates and specific locations may change from time to time. Please call program coordinator Shirley Hibbetts, 760-952-3572, for training confirmation prior to scheduled training date.