What is a Master Gardener Volunteer?
The Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension office to expand garden-based educational outreach throughout the community by providing home and community gardeners with research-based information and skills. Here in Orange County, Master Gardener Volunteers partner with Cornell Cooperative Extension to assist with gardening projects in the community, teach classes and workshops, work in school and community gardens, provide information at public events, and answer gardening questions through the Garden Helpline.
Who becomes a Master Gardener Volunteer?
Master Gardener Volunteers are adults of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. They range from having no professional gardening or landscaping experience, to very experienced gardeners. They all share a genuine interest in making the world more vibrant and livable through gardening. Master Gardener Volunteers are students, teachers, moms, dads, grandparents, working folks, retired people, and anything else you can imagine. All you need is a love for gardening, some time to volunteer, and a willingness to complete the training.
How can I become a Master Gardener Volunteer?
In Orange County New York, a Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program is usually conducted every two years. The training is usually held on Thursday from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm and runs from September through March. The 2019 -2020 training finished up in February 2020 and we welcomed 17 new Master Gardener Volunteers into the program. Our next training will is scheduled to start in the fall of 2021.
If you are interested in learning more about a future program, please click on the link below. The application process includes a review of your application, interviews, reference and background checks. Accepted applicants are contacted by early August and notified of their standing. The training cost is $300 per applicant. Scholarships are available, based on need.
If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer or want to learn more about the program, please contact:
Community Horticulture Educator
Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator