Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program
Learn and share your knowledge!
Florida Master Gardeners are volunteer teachers, trained by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. These volunteers provide Floridians with research-based gardening information that covers planning and maintaining urban, suburban, and rural landscapes and emphasizes environmental stewardship.
What Is the Master Gardener Program?
Since 1979, the Florida Master Gardener Program has educated gardeners in home horticultural principles. Participants who complete the program are certified as Master Gardeners by the University of Florida Extension Service and are required to volunteer a certain number of hours per year (varies by county).
Working with local Extension agents and program, Master Gardeners have opportunities to participate in organized volunteer activities. They provide a wide variety of volunteer leadership and service to their communities, such as answering questions about gardening, conducting plant clinics, beautifying the community, and promoting environmentally friendly horticultural practices.
Many Master Gardeners exceed the required service hours, some giving over two hundred hours per year. Many also continue in the program beyond the first year because of their passion for gardening and willingness to help others in their community.
Why Should I Become a Master Gardener?
If you'd like to combine your love of gardening with community service, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I want to learn more about plants, growing things, and gardening?
- Am I eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program?
- Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community?
- Do I have enough time to attend the training and to complete my volunteer commitment?
If you answered "yes" to these questions, the Master Gardener Volunteer Program could be for you.
The desire to help others is the first and absolute requirement, along with a personal commitment to completing the training and serving the required volunteer service hours.
After completing the horticultural training program, Master Gardeners must volunteer for fifty to one hundred hours within a one-year period. (The required number of hours varies from one county to another. Check with your local program to find out how many hours your county requires.)
Enrollment is limited, and admission to the program is highly competitive. Contact your local county Extension office as soon as possible to learn how you can get involved.
Continued Master Gardener Training
The learning process never ends for Master Gardeners! Continued training is offered annually by the University of Florida so that Master Gardeners can keep up with the latest horticultural information. Many counties provide specialized educational opportunities throughout the year. Contact your local county Extension office for more information.