Becoming a MG Volunteer
Master Gardeners have committed their time and knowledge to assist Penn State Extension in educating groups as well as individuals on proper horticultural practices. They have been trained to share their gardening knowledge with county residents under the direction of Penn State Extension. An important outreach of Penn State Extension is the Master Gardeners' lecture series available any time of year to groups who are interested in garden related topics. Master Gardeners reach out to children, seniors and the underprivileged to teach them about horticulture. This is done through demonstrations, lectures, and hands-on presentations throughout the county.
As a Penn State Master Gardener, one must complete a thirteen-week course that covers information on botany, plant propagation, insects and diseases, plant identification, diagnostics, and much more. Upon completion of this course, the Master Gardener trainee must dedicate 50 hours of volunteer time to the Master Gardener program throughout the following year. To maintain Master Gardener status, an additional 20 hours per year following their initial commitment as well as 8 hours of advanced education is required.
Master Gardeners provide educational training and hands-on demonstrations in:
- plant selection
- weed, insect and disease identification
- landscape design
- pest control
- vegetable gardening
- tree pruning and care
- community gardening.... and more
Master Gardeners cooperate with local organizations, schools and service clubs and provide speakers on a wide variety of gardening topics. They provide a link between their community and Penn State Extension.
Some of the volunteer activities Washington County Master Gardeners participate in are:
- creating demonstration gardens and trial gardens
- teaching plant science to school-age children
- teaching horticulture to adults
- answering gardening questions
- holding plant clinics throughout the County
- teaching environmentally sound gardening to community groups
- writing articles for local newspapers
- establishing garden programs for special-needs audiences
- working with community gardens
If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please contact Laura Delach, Master Gardener Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.