Who can be a Master Gardener Volunteer?

YOU CAN! We’re looking for volunteers with a variety of gardening experiences, good communication skills and who like to share knowledge with others. 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.

Why should you be a Master Gardener Volunteer?

Do you have a love of gardening? Do you know more about Swiss Chard than is appropriate for the average individual to know? Or do you enjoy teaching others about a subject that is important to you?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Extension Master Gardener Program — Hennepin County, may be for you! Master Gardener Volunteers take their knowledge and love of horticulture into the Hennepin County Community and share it with others. Volunteers learn while they are volunteering; they also learn by attending required continuing education classes offered by the University of Minnesota, MN Landscape Arboretum and Minnesota Horticultural Society. The Master Gardener Program is the perfect way to volunteer your time and talents AND learn more at the same time.

How do I become a Master Gardener Volunteer?

Applications are accepted annually from August 1 to October 1.  Materials will be posted here on this site in late July.  E-mail  hcmg@umn.edu if you’d like to be placed on our notification list.

Application Process:

Program Information

There is a fee of $320.00 for Core Course publications, materials and background check; regular tuition fees are not charged. Scholarships are available.

During the first year, Master Gardener Interns are required to donate 50 hours of volunteer service and complete 12 additional hours of continuing education over and above the core course. After the first year, 25 volunteer hours plus 12 continuing education hours are required annually to maintain certified Master Gardener status.

What are the certification requirements to become a Master Gardener Volunteer?

After being accepted into the Master Gardener program, a volunteer becomes an Intern and completes 48 hours of Core Course horticultural education taught by University of Minnesota staff. Topics covered in the Core Training include:

  • Soils

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Entomology
  • Plant Pathology
  • Landscape, Lawn Care
  • Indoor Plants

  • Herbaceous Plants

  • Wood Plants

  • Pesticides

  • Gardening with Wildlife

After completing the Core Course training, Interns need an additional 12 hours of continuing education and 50 hours of volunteer service to become Certified Master Gardeners. To remain certified, Master Gardener Volunteers complete 12 hours of continuing education and 25 hours of volunteer service each year.

Get Connected

Connect with Hennepin County Master Gardeners and the University of Minnesota Yard and Garden on social media.