Our Mission and Core Value Statement
Master Gardener volunteers are committed to providing the highest quality, research-based horticultural information and educational activities that enhance our community’s environment and quality of life.
What is a Master Gardener?
Master Gardeners are University of Minnesota-trained volunteers who educate the public about a variety of horticulture topics.
What do Master Gardeners Do?
Master Gardeners bring research-based horticultural information to the Hennepin County community through the following educational activities:
- Teaching adults at community education classes, garden clubs, community gardens and other organizations
- Teaching youth in classrooms, community organizations, showing how to plant at their schools and other community locations
- Responding to gardening questions on the Garden Hotline
- Answering gardening questions at local garden centers, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and other community locations; and assisting residents with environmental issues such as how to install a rain garden, low impact lawn or plant a tree
What are the Community Benefits of a Master Gardener Program?
- Environmental Benefits: Master Gardener programs improve the natural environment through public education that leads to reduced yard waste, water run-off, pollution and demands on water management and landfill systems. In addition, programs help reduce the spread of hazardous plants, diseases and non-beneficial insects through public education and collaborative strategies.
- Community Benefits: Master Gardener programs increase the effectiveness of community public service organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity and Farmers’ Markets, by partnering with the organizations to broaden and strengthen their capacity around horticultural solutions. Programs increase the social, emotional and cognitive abilities of children and youth by engaging them in horticulture through the Junior Master Gardener program and collaboration with schools and other youth programs.
- Health Benefits: Master Gardener programs increase the safety and health of residents of the community through public education on appropriate use of pesticides. Access Benefits: Master Gardener programs provide Minnesota’s vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly and people with disabilities, with increased access to meaningful, multi-skill, community focused activities.
- Research Benefits: Master Gardener programs increase residents’ access to University of Minnesota Extension through their broad and continuous public presence and referrals to other Extension services. The programs increase residents’ access to tax-supported University of Minnesota research-based information. Master Gardners help educate Hennepin County residents with the latest horticultural information from the University of Minnesota.
What do Master Gardeners Provide Hennepin County?
During 2011, 305 active University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers in Hennepin County contributed over 18,376 hours of volunteer service!
These hours of service support the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Program’s mission of educating the public with research-based information on the best practices in consumer horticulture and environmental stewardship. Putting these hours into perspective, Master Gardener volunteers provided the full-time employee equivalency of almost 9 full-time workers! This also works out to an average of 60 hours per active volunteer – over double the annual requirement of 25 hours per volunteer. According to Independent Sector, $21.79 per hour is the 2011 figure for the monetary contribution of volunteer hours. Therefore, Hennepin County Master Gardener volunteer efforts in 2011 had an estimated monetary value of $400,414.