What is the Master Gardener Volunteer Program?
The Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension Service office to extend information throughout the community. The first Master Gardener program was started in Washington State in 1972. Forty-six states now have Master Gardener programs with over 15,000 people participating nationwide.
The Master Gardener Program provides gardeners with education in a wide range of horticultural topics. After successfully completing the training, participants become certified Master Gardener Volunteers.
Master Gardeners provide volunteer leadership and service to their community in gardening activities. The volunteer activities can include answering gardening questions, conducting plant clinics, planting demonstration gardens, talking to community groups and more.
How does the Master Gardener Volunteer Program benefit me?
Through the training program and the interaction with other experienced gardeners, you will become a more knowledgeable gardener. You will also receive a manual and many additional publications.
There are also Master Gardener workshops held around the state that all Master Gardeners are welcomed to attend. There will be opportunities to take field trips to interesting gardens and nurseries. And you will meet many people who share your interest in gardening.
The Master Gardener Volunteer program is not all work. The volunteers often enjoy socializing at cookouts and covered dish suppers during and after the training period. Social activity allows the participants time to discuss new ideas as well as to forge new friendships.
How does the Master Gardener Volunteer Program benefit the community?
As a Master Gardener Volunteer, you will share the knowledge gained in the training sessions with other gardeners in the community. You can do this in a variety of ways. Every time you answer a gardening question from a friend, you share the knowledge you have gained.
The Extension Horticulture program in Davidson County will offer many opportunities to assist with programs and activities. Volunteers often have their own ideas of activities to offer educational programs for the community.
Volunteer hours are flexible, depending on your own interests and available time. Travel expenses are tax deductible.
Do I have what it takes to be a Master Gardener Volunteer?
HAVE YOU EVER:
- had a vegetable or flower garden?
- grown roses or houseplants?
- planted and maintained a lawn?
- planted or pruned trees and shrubs?
DO YOU ENJOY:
- meeting and talking with people?
- searching for answers to questions?
- organizing workshops or meetings?
- attending educational classes?
- learning more about horticulture?
- sharing your time and knowledge with others?
DO YOU HAVE:
- at least four hours of time per month that you can volunteer to North Carolina State University’s Cooperative Extension Service in Davidson County helping us to “HELP PEOPLE PUT KNOWLEDGE TO WORK”.
How do I become a Master Gardener Volunteer?
The desire to help others is the first requirement. A personal commitment to complete the required training and to volunteer at least 40 hours of service is equally important.
To get your name on the list for the next Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program, call or come by the Cooperative Extension Service office for an application form. Classes are held January through April one day each week for 13 weeks. The cost is $85 to cover materials.
For more information on the Master Gardener program, contact Kira Chaloupka