Who are Master Gardeners?
Master Gardeners are passionate gardeners and dedicated volunteers charged with the mission of improving the practice of horticulture and developing the public’s understanding and enjoyment of plants and the environment. The majority of Master Gardener Programs are sponsored by state-university extension. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society is one of the few nonprofit horticultural organizations in the U.S. that is affiliated with a Master Gardener Volunteer program.
The Massachusetts Master Gardener Association (MMGA) acts as a bridge between the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the community. The program’s experienced and trained volunteers provide invaluable horticultural information and resources to the gardening public through their outreach work answering gardening questions for callers to the HelpLine, running informational booths at community events, giving garden lectures through the Master Gardener Speakers' Bureau, and acting as docents at MassHort events and sites. Master Gardeners also help facilitate the execution of educational programs sponsored by MassHort.
What are the benefits of becoming a Massacusetts Master Gardener?
The satisfaction and reward that comes from extending your knowledge and awareness of plants and the environment to others is one of the greatest benefits of this program. Additional benefits include opportunities to interact with fellow MGs, exchange gardening information, plants, and stories, further your own horticultural education, and attend advanced training sessions, garden tours, social events and regional and national conferences.
Individuals who successfully complete the Master Gardener Training Program Class and fulfill sixty volunteer hours become Certified Master Gardeners. Once certified, the individual continues to volunteer and to further his or her horticultural knowledge.
There are two basic requirements. The first requirement is to possess a passion for plants and the environment. The second requirement is to pledge a commitment to volunteer as a MassHort Master Gardener. While it is helpful, gardening or horticultural experience is not required.
The training, which meets once a week for 13 weeks, consists of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on-learning opportunities covering an array of horticultural subjects such as pruning, soil, garden design, turf, plants, insects and diseases. Candidates are required to complete the course satisfactorily before initiating the volunteering phase. The training class is offered in the spring and the fall. (read more).