Do You Want to Be a Master Gardener Volunteer?

— Written By Susan Condlin and last updated by

North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteers provide unbiased, research-based information and programs regarding environmental stewardship of gardens, lawns and landscapes. Started in North Carolina in 1979, the train-the-trainer program cultivates volunteers through hands-on experience in horticulture, leadership, public speaking, community development, and teaching.

In North Carolina, there are more than 4,000 Master Gardener volunteers in 87 counties –and growing! Do you have a passion for gardening? Do you enjoy working with people and helping them learn? Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity that combines these interests? If your answer to all of these questions is “yes” then consider training to become a Master Gardener Volunteer for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.

We are pleased to announce the 2015 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program will be held this spring. Under the guidance of County Extension Horticulture agents, Master Gardener volunteers will complete a rigorous training program, pass an examination and complete a 40-hour internship.

Once certified, they continue to contribute a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer services each year as well as continuing education through the local Cooperative Extension Center. By answering questions, teaching classes, constructing demonstration gardens, guiding tours, talking with community groups and other educational activities, Extension Master Gardener Volunteers teach people to garden successfully while making environmentally responsible decisions in their landscape by conserving water and protecting water quality, and reducing green waste.

Each year, North Carolina Master Gardener Volunteers:

  • Log over 200,000 volunteer hours, at a value of $4.2 million, and the equivalent of 100 full time employees.
  • Provide more than 1,500 educational exhibits reaching a half-million people.
  • Deliver nearly 2,000 programs to groups across the state including 500 school programs.
  • Make more than 1.3 million educational contacts.

If you are interested and would like more information about the Master Gardener Program and our planned Volunteer Training Class, you are invited to join the Lee County Master Gardeners at the Lee County Extension Office, 2420 Tramway Road in Sanford for an informative Open House on Wednesday, October 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Interest in the 2015 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program is high and class size is limited. Please call 919-775-5624 for more information.

Want more pertinent horticulture information delivered directly to your home computer? Subscribe to the new Lee County home horticulture e-mail list. Simply send an e-mail to mj2@lists.ncsu.edu with subscribe leehomehort in the body of the message. You will then be a member of leehomehort@lists.ncsu.edu.