What is the Master Gardener Program?
The Master Gardener program is an all-volunteer organization sanctioned by land grant institutions in each state; the program functions as an extension of the college or university. In Wisconsin, the program is sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension. Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who aid Extension staff by helping people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment.
How to Become a Master Gardener
Any adult (18 years or older) can participate in the Master Gardener Volunteer Program – no previous experience or training is necessary.
For a step-by-step guide on how to become a Master Gardener, click the Get Started button below.
What You Can Do as a Master Gardener Volunteer?
In exchange for the training, you are asked to volunteer hours equivalent to the number of training hours received for that year. Many Master Gardener Volunteers donate their time beyond the required minimum numbers of hours. They volunteer hundreds of hours of horticulture-related community service annually.
Make a Difference
Horticulture Therapy Projects
Responding to Inquiries
Write Newspaper Gardening Column
Volunteer at Extension
Youth Groups: 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.
Cooperative Extension has been helping people solve their agricultural problems since 1913. Extension agents/farm advisors supervised “Victory gardens” during World War I and II and have helped home and community gardeners ever since. Eventually, a voluntary educational program was initiated to teach gardening to people who would then extend the information to others in the community. The first Master Gardener Volunteer Program was started in 1972 in Washington State. Since then, Master Gardener Volunteer Programs have spread to over 45 states and four Canadian provinces, and boasts of more than 45,000 volunteers.