Volunteerism

For Certified MGVs and Interns:

Master Gardener Volunteers are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of garden related volunteer service each year in order to maintain certification.

Master Gardener Volunteerism can be divided into three categories:

  • Community education.
    I taught/explained…. ·
    Answer questions at farm market booth, public speaking, diagnostics, etc.
  • Youth education.
    I taught kids… ·
    First/Third Grade programs at Rotary Botanical Gardens, school gardens, etc.
  • Support services.
    I helped with…. ·
    Work in a local park, gardened at an educationally focused botanical garden, etc.

Though many organizations have come to depend on Master Gardener Volunteers for their support services, please remember that this program initiated primarily as an educational service to the public. All volunteer hours must have  educational focus or directly support horticulture related education.

Master Gardener Volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • School Gardens
  • Rotary Botanical Gardens
  • Support work at local state parks
  • Plant Health Advisory services

For Community Groups seeking MGV assistance:

Community organizations are welcome to request MGV assistance on garden related projects. See the examples below for preferred project requests:

  • Typical request: “Our organization needs Master Gardeners to plant shrubs”
  • Preferred request: “Our organization has volunteers to plant shrubs; we need a Master Gardener to teach them how to plant the shrubs properly.”
  • Comment: We should emphasize the educational value of our program in our volunteer efforts.
  • Typical request: “I don’t want to pay someone to plant these shrubs, I’d like a Master Gardener to do it.”
  • Preferred request: “Our non-profit organization has a public space needing help planting shrubs; is a Master Gardener available?”
  • Comment: Projects are limited to public areas and non-profit organizations. If a for-hire individual could do the job, it should not be a MGV volunteer project. This includes “volunteering” at your neighbors– it doesn’t count!
  • Typical request: “I need a Master Gardener to paint this wall”
  • Preferred request: “I need a Master Gardener to help with this garden”
  • Comment: Projects need to be garden related.

This said, we recognize there are variances to these standards. Some people actually love to pull weeds, so they devote themselves to support services. Some volunteer activities may not have a direct gardening component, but lends itself to a gardening component later on (such as winter fundraising activity that allows an organization to buy plants in the spring).