What is the Master Gardener Program?

The Penn State University Master Gardener program was established to assist Cooperative Extension in reaching the consumer horticulture audience.

The program provides interested individuals with extensive training in many phases of gardening. In return, participants dedicate volunteer time to teaching horticultural information based on university research and recommendations.

Training and volunteer service are coordinated at the county level by extension educators or trained volunteers. State wide functions are carried out by Nancy Knauss, State Master Gardener Coordinator and from the State Master Gardener Steering Committee.

The Penn State Master Gardening Program is a volunteer program that takes people with an interest and enthusiasm for horticulture and gives them basic training in a broad range of horticulture topics. In exchange for the training, volunteers are expected to give at least 50 hours of volunteer time within one year of completing the training to help Penn State Extension better serve the home gardening audience. Volunteer hours can be served in any number of ways, such as answering home gardening questions over the phone at the Penn State Extension Office, speaking to garden clubs, civic organizations, schools, or other groups about horticultural topics, community beautification projects, or in other ways which help to educate the public to techniques and benefits of gardening.

The Master Gardener program provides excellent training, fellowship with others who share enthusiasm for gardening, and a chance to help people with gardening problems.