Master Gardeners Program

About Master Gardeners

Master Gardener programs (also known as Extension Master Gardener Programs) are volunteer programs that train individuals in the science and art of gardening. These individuals pass on the information they learned during their training, as volunteers who advise and educate the public on gardening and horticulture.

The first Master Gardener program was founded in 1973 by Dr. David Gibby of Washington State University Cooperative Extension in the greater Seattle area to meet a high demand for urban horticulture and gardening advice. The first trial clinic was held at the TacomaMall in 1972. When that was successful, the Master Gardener Program was officially established, a curriculum created, and training began in King County and Pierce County in 1973. The concept then spread to other U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

In the US, groups are affiliated with a land-grant university and one of its cooperative extension service offices. Canadian Master Gardener groups have different organizational structures, including incorporation as a charitable non-profit (Ontario) and universities (Saskatchewan.) Typically, Master Gardeners receive extensive training and then provide information to the public via phone or email helplines, speaking at public events, writing articles for publications and the internet, and partnering with other community programs, gardens, and educational facilities. Master Gardeners are active in all 50 states in the United States and eight Canadian provinces. According to the 2009 Extension Master Gardener Survey, there are nearly 95,000 active Extension Master Gardeners, who provide approximately 5,000,000 volunteer service hours of per year to their communities. Once volunteers are accepted into a Master Gardener program, they are trained by cooperative extension, university, and local industry specialists in subjects such as taxonomy, plant pathology, soil health, entomology, cultural growing requirements, sustainable gardening, nuisance wildlife management, and integrated pest management.

After completing training, master gardeners serve their communities by providing guidance to others and maintaining community and historic gardens. Awards are regularly presented to master gardeners for community service, innovative programs, and other topics.

Fall 2019 Master Gardener Basic Training Class Info

John E Woodmansee

August 2, 2019

CURRENTLY RECRUITING for Fall 2019 Master Gardener Basic Training Class! (Noble and Whitley Counties)

Watch our recruitment video! (1:41)

If you are interested in taking the class, please plan ahead! The plan is Thursday mornings (and two Mondays), 9:00 a.m. - Noon, after Labor Day. See preliminary schedule below. Call us now at 260-244-7615 (or 260-636-2111 in Noble County) with your name, address, phone number and email. We'll communicate all the particulars directly with you. Or, access this recruitment letter. Steps to successful enrollment:

  • Deadline Extended from July 31 to Aug. 15:
  • Fill out and submit an application. Read "Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program Policy Guide". See also the preliminary schedule. (If you provide us your name and address, we will mail these items to you).
  • By Aug. 15: Provide verification of identification (show us your drivers license in person in Extension office)
  • By Aug. 31: After we conduct screening process, successful applicants will be notified how to access official class enrollment and pay online through a system called "cvent." Arrangements can be made to enroll and pay in person at Extension office with check, if you would prefer. Aug. 31 is final deadline for class enrollment and payment.
  • Sept. 16: First class