What Is a Master Gardener Volunteer?

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Master Gardener℠ volunteers are educators sharing knowledge about urban horticulture and environmental stewardship. Working with their local N.C. Cooperative Extension Center, Master Gardener volunteers provide unbiased, research-based information that empowers residents to cultivate healthy gardens, landscapes, and ecosystems through safe, effective, and sustainable gardening practices.

Since 1979, Extension has recruited, trained, and engaged local residents to serve as Master Gardener volunteers who expand Extension’s capacity to meet the needs of the gardening public. There are now over 3,500 volunteers in 84 counties across the state.

Under the guidance and direction of Extension agents, individuals complete a 40-hour training program, pass an examination, and complete at least a 40-hour internship to become certified Master Gardener volunteers. To remain active in the program, volunteers must complete a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer service and a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education each year.

Master Gardener volunteer initial training prepares you to be a Master Gardener volunteer. The course introduces a wide range of horticultural topics, with a focus on finding research-based information and sharing the science behind sustainable gardening practices. Initial training includes: Minimum of 40 hours of instruction taught by Extension staff and local experts. Topics include soils and plant nutrients, composting, insects, Integrated Pest Management, lawns, food production, organic gardening, herbaceous, woody and native plants, wildlife, landscape design, and more.

Are you interested in becoming Master Gardener℠ volunteer in Lee County? Contact Horticulture Agent Minda Daughtry (minda_daughtry@ncsu.edu) or contact Rhonda Gaster with N.C. Cooperative Extension in Lee County at 919-775-5624.

Minda Daughtry is Horticulture Agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.