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Master Gardener volunteers help extend gardening knowledge into the community.

Master Gardener Volunteers

Do you enjoy plants and helping others be more successful with their home garden and landscapes? Then find out more about joining our Master Gardener Program.

Master Gardener Volunteer Mission Statement

The mission of our program is to dispense reliable, unbiased, research-based gardening related information to the public. This initiative involves topics that include, but are not limited to soil analysis, plant selection and care, identification of insects, plant diseases, and answering gardener’s horticultural questions.

Master Gardener Volunteer Benefits…

  • Master Gardener Volunteers receive 45 hours of initial training as part of this program.
  • Training continues periodically through local/regional workshops and seminars and monthly Master Gardener meetings.
  • Various resources from your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office and Cornell University become available to you.
  • Master Gardener Volunteers work with and learn from others who are actively interested in gardening.

Master Gardener Volunteer Trainee Qualifications…

  • Practical experience and a solid knowledge base in gardening
  • Good communications skills and an interest in helping others
  • A flexible time schedule and a realistic expectation of being able to contribute required number of hours of volunteer time during the calendar year.

Master Gardener Volunteer Training…

Training for new Master Gardeners is held during the winter and early spring. Materials, refreshments, speaker’s fees and travel costs (sometimes) are just a few of the costs associated with running a qualifying course to train new Master Gardeners. The time devoted to each topic is generally 2.5 hours. Training may be half or full day sessions held one or two days a week.

Topics covered in training will include, but are not limited to:

  • Soils and Fertilizers
  • Introduction to Insects
  • Introduction to Plant Diseases
  • Diagnosing Plant Problems
  • Garden Botany
  • Pruning
  • Woody Plant Materials (Trees and Shrubs)
  • Ecological Lawn Care
  • Vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Perennials
  • Annuals and Bedding Plants
  • Houseplants
  • Organic Gardening (includes Composting)
  • Home Fruit
  • Pest Management

Upon completion of the course, your training will continue while working with a Master Gardener Mentor.


Laurie VanNostrand
Master Gardener Program Coordinator/Consumer Horticulture
315-331-8415 ext. 107

Last updated November 16, 2015