Master Gardener is an educational and volunteer training program administered through the offices of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). Volunteers receive advanced training in horticulture and environmental topics of interest to the home gardener. In return, Master Gardeners share their time and knowledge on approved projects within the community. Today, there are more than 40 active local Master Gardener groups and associations throughout Alabama sharing a common interest in making their community a better place to live.
Based on 2009 records:
Number of active Certified Master Gardeners: 2,026
Number of Interns trained: 429
Total hours volunteered: 138,519
Number of clientele contacted: 309,997
Number of miles driven: 813,162
Volunteersí Value of Service: $2,500,267 (Equivalent of 74 full time employees)
Master Gardener trainees should have a basic knowledge of or interest in gardening, enthusiasm for acquiring and sharing horticultural knowledge and skills, an ability to communicate, and a willingness to participate in educational activities. After completing the training program, individuals become Master Gardener Interns. The interns share their knowledge of horticulture through service in a variety of volunteer projects within their communities. After 50 hours of volunteer service have been accumulated, the interns are graduated and promoted to certified Master Gardeners.
The instruction covers a wide range of topics. A few of the areas include houseplants, garden flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs, fruits, soils, plant pathology, and entomology. The training program is a great way to increase your knowledge of horticulture and gain knowledge to share with people in the community who have an interest in gardening. Contact the County Extension System (232-5510) to learn about the program in our area. To apply, download and print the application and mail it to the address on the form. Or, if you prefer, you can stop by any of the County Extension System offices and complete the application while you are there.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Alabama Master Gardener program.
The Limestone County Master Gardeners Association (LCMGA). Since our inaugural class in 1992, more than 200 people have received the Master Gardener training in Limestone County. About half of those remain active supporting our community projects and continuing to learn more about gardening in North Alabama. Each year, LCMGA members perform more than 1,500 hours of volunteer service through a variety of projects that benefit the Athens/Limestone community. Please read our Newsletter to learn more about us and how we serve the Athens-Limestone community.
The objectives of our organization are:
To extend the Master Gardener's knowledge of and interests in horticulture and related activities.
To provide horticultural community service opportunities for its members.
To provide opportunities for its members to meet and associate with others who have similar horticultural interests.
Monthly meetings of the Limestone County Master Gardeners Association are held on the 2nd Monday, 12:00 noon, usually at the Limestone County office of ACES, 1109 West Market Street in Athens. Before getting down to business each month, we have guest speakers on topics ranging from ferns to flags, tours of local gardens, or other fun and informative activities. We usually try to schedule 3-4 evening meetings during the year so folks that work can attend and share in the camaraderie. LCMGA dues are $10.00 per year. If you have questions about the Alabama Master Gardeners Program, please Contact Us.