Master Gardener Programs
Master Gardener Programs have existed in the U.S. since 1973. They exist in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Master Gardener Programs By State
Below, you will find a list of land-grant universities with a Cooperative Extension Service offering Master Gardener programs in each state. Through their Cooperative Extension, these universities are responsible for distributing and disseminating the latest scientific gardening and horticultural information, often developed through research at those universities, into the local communities around their state. Each county’s Extension Office and ultimately Master Gardener volunteers are instrumental in disseminating this vital information to community members.
You can visit the Cooperative Extension portion of the land-grant university’s website listed below in your state to find out more about the state’s Master Gardener program. If the university site does not list contact information for your local Extension Office, just search Google for the Extension Office in your county and state.
How do Master Gardener Programs Work?
Master Gardener programs are designed to train volunteers in the latest gardening and horticulture methods and technologies so that they can assist the Cooperative Extension Service of the state’s land-grant university with the dissemination of such information to members of their community at the local level.
Each county in each state typically has a government-run Extension office. Occasionally, there may be a single office that serves multiple counties. One purpose of this office is to administer the state’s Master Gardener program by training the county’s residents as volunteer Master Gardeners. They also field questions about gardening and horticulture from the community and, where applicable, dispatch Master Gardener volunteers to assist community members with problems and projects.
Master Gardener training programs typically require 40-70 hours of course work and 40-75 hours of volunteer work during the first year. Once a volunteer has been certified, they must typically volunteer 20-30 hours during each subsequent year to maintain their certification. They may also be required to participate in a certain number of hours in Continuing Education each year. Additionally, some states offer multiple levels of training and certification as a Master Gardener.
Alabama Master Gardener Program