The Master Gardener Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension office to expand educational outreach throughout the community by providing home gardeners with research-based information.
The first Master Gardener program was started in Washington state in 1972. Forty-six states now have Master Gardener programs. For information on Master Gardener programs outside Schuyler County, visit the Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program website.
Master Gardeners enjoy people and plants. They usually have no professional gardening or landscaping experience, only a genuine interest in sharing their knowledge, and sufficient free time to volunteer in Master Gardener activities.
Master Gardener trainees should have a basic knowledge of, or interest in, gardening; enthusiasm for acquiring and sharing horticultural knowledge and skills; good communications skills; and a willingness and free time to participate in volunteer educational activities.
Volunteers complete a brief written application, and have a short interview with members of our horticulture staff. Priority for selection is given to Schuyler County residents.
Master Gardener training is held in the beginning of the year. Trainees receive instruction from experts at Cornell Cooperative Extension and elsewhere on a broad spectrum of subjects applicable to home gardening, such as plant nutrition, soils, vegetable and fruit culture, trees, shrubs and lawns, diseases and insects that affect plants, pruning, and much more. After this instruction, trainees are certified as Master Gardeners. Advanced instruction is offered, and special seminars and refresher workshops are held so that Master Gardeners can stay current on gardening topics and keep their knowledge up-to-date.
You can learn more about the topics that are covered in the training by visiting the NY State Master Gardener Volunteer Program pages on the Cornell University website.
Please call for information on when the next Master Gardener volunteer training will be offered, and to receive an application form.
Along with the 60-hour training, Master Gardener trainees commit an additional 60 hours of service for the year. After the first year, Master Gardeners can be as involved with the program as they would like. To maintain the Master Gardener certification, we require 60 hours a year of volunteering or continuing education.
The following activities all count towards hours:
Many Master Gardeners have volunteered for years and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow gardeners and group gatherings.
The Schuyler County Master Gardeners are involved in many activities. Here are some of them:
Last updated June 13, 2022