A co-owner of a gardening magazine recently received certification as a master gardener through the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System's master gardener program.

Will Rowlands, a Fairfield resident, bought Connecticut Gardener magazine, founded in 1995, with his wife, Anne, in February 2010.

The former longtime Westport resident, a gardener most of his life, was previously an editor at the Westport News and a director of the New England Press Association and New England Newspaper & Press Association.

The program entails 100 hours of classroom training and 60 hours of volunteer service, 30 of which must be spent at one of eight county extension centers or Stamford's Bartlett Arboretum, according to Rowlands.

Another 30 hours is devoted to outreach projects, said Rowlands, who supported efforts of the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group and the Toth Park Riparian Buffer Remediation Project on Easton's Aspetuck River.

In addition to the classroom training, interns must pass a written test, a final practicum and submit a tree-shrub-vine identification project, Rowlands said.

Visit the UConn Home & Garden Education Center website at www.ladybug.uconn.edu for information on the master gardener program.