Do you enjoy working with people? Are you interested in conducting outreach programs for the public on horticultural and environmental topics? If so, you may be interested in applying for the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer program, which is offered through the University of Georgia Extension.
The program, which began in Atlanta, in 1979, is designed to help the University of Georgia Extension staff transfer research-based information about gardening and related subjects to the public by training home gardeners. Through this program, UGA Extension can reach out and serve more citizens with educational programming and demonstrations.
Volunteers help many roles in aiding the local county extension office to deliver horticultural educational programs and information to the community. Volunteers also benefit from the training, networking with other garden enthusiasts, and having the opportunity to serve their communities.
Would you be interested in becoming a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer? To do so, you need to complete an application. If accepted into the program, you will be required to complete a series of classes taught by experts covering many different topics related to gardening and the environment, such as landscape design, plant propagation, lawn care, and plant identification.
The classes will meet from 9:30 am to 3 pm one day a week for 13 weeks, starting in late August and running through November. Class participants will be required to pass a mid-term and final exam on the material covered.
After completing the program, each person is required to complete 50 hours of volunteering service within one year. Many volunteer opportunities exist, including environmental gardening demonstrations, plant clinics at local garden centers and farmers markets, phone and site consultations, school gardens and outreach programs, the speaker’s panel, and plenty of other activities.
After that, each Master Gardener Extension Volunteer must complete 25 hours of volunteer work per year to maintain their status. Before applying, ask yourself this question: “Will I be able to commit to the volunteer requirements after finishing the classes?”
Interested Gwinnett residents can apply for the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer program. Download the application from the UGA Extension Gwinnett website at www.ugaextension.org/gwinnett/, click on ‘Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program’ on the left side of the page. From there, you can download the application.
You can also contact the Extension office to have one mailed to you. The deadline for submitting applications is May 26 for the 2021 class. You are also invited to an online information session held May 12 at 2 p.m. Contact the Extension office if you are interested in participating.
One aspect that unites all Master Gardeners is a desire to help people. You do not need to have extensive horticultural knowledge because we will provide the necessary training. The program offers many enriching and rewarding opportunities to serve the community. You need a sharing heart and a desire to help others.
For more information on the program, visit the Georgia Master Gardeners Association website at https://georgiamastergardeners.org/ and the Gwinnett County Master Gardeners Association at http://www.gwinnettmastergardeners.com/.