Extension Master Gardeners
The Extension Master Gardener program is a great way to gain horticultural expertise, meet other enthusiastic gardeners, share garden experiences, get connected to the local community through volunteerism, and work alongside the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
The Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Program was created in 1972 in Washington State and rapidly spread nationwide in response to the increasing demands on County Extension agents’ time spent replying to requests for home horticultural information. The EMG Program has proven an effective tool for Cooperative Extension Services (CES) in distributing research-based horticultural best practice information to the public. Extension Master Gardeners, in turn, have the satisfaction of volunteering in a variety of community activities.
- wants knowledge or experience in gardening
- is willing to learn and provide information to the public
- completes an Extension Master Gardener training program
- volunteers 40 hours to horticulture the first year after completing classes
Master Gardeners help County Extension Agents reach more residents who have gardening problems by:
- Visiting garden sites
- Working in information booths at community events and malls
- Answering gardening questions at Extension Offices during regular phone hours
- Teaching horticulture to beginning gardeners
- Exploring environmental options.
The Green River Area Extension Master Gardener Association (GRAEMGA) plans, organizes, and implements various educational gardening projects around the community and at the Daviess County Cooperative Extension Service Office.
It provides a social network where master gardeners can share experiences and ideas about gardening. Upon completion of the Extension Master Gardener program, you are encouraged to join the group. Meetings are scheduled monthly. Planning and project committees may meet throughout the year as well. Dues are $10 per year.
Volunteer projects are those approved by an Extension agent. They are numerous and may include:
- Speaking engagements on horticultural topics
- Planting and maintenance of the Extension Office gardens
- Planning or manning the Master Gardeners’ booth at the Owensboro Home Builders Association Home and Garden Show
- Horticultural projects at the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden
- Assisting with calls regarding horticulture at the Daviess County Extension Office
- Participation as committee members or organization officers
- Seed Library
- Raised bed gardens
- Farmers’ Market
- Youth gardening programs
The program includes 14 weeks of training on horticulture-related topics:
Botany, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Landscape Design, Soils and Fertilizers, Annuals and Perennials, Fruit and Vegetable Gardening, Tree and Shrub Care, Volunteerism, Lawn Care, Organic Gardening
In exchange for educational training, individuals are required to return 40 volunteer hours of horticulture education gardening service in their community within one year of their training.
After the first year, 20 hours of volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education are required to be an active Extension Master Gardener. Volunteer projects help the County Cooperative Extension Service Office with horticulture programs that benefit the local community and may include helping in the Extension Office.
There is an $85 fee for the cost of training. This includes a manual with class materials, helpful resources, and reference publications.
Top 10 Reasons To Be A Master Gardener
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