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Black man sitting in a garden

Service Oriented

What is Master Gardener?

The Alabama Master Gardener Volunteer Program is an educational volunteer recruitment program offered through the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Volunteers work with Extension to bring the latest horticultural information to their communities.

How did Master Gardener begin?

The concept of Master Gardener volunteer training began at Washington State University. In Alabama, the program began in 1981 with Extension agent Gary Murray and an energetic Cornell Extension Master Gardener, Mary Lou McNabb, who had moved to Huntsville.

Partnership Based

How does Master Gardener work?

This program represents an effective partnership between the land grant universities of this state, Alabama Extension agents, and motivated volunteers. Master Gardener volunteers offer their community reliable, relevant, and reachable gardening information and education opportunities.

Reliable: Our gardening advice and programs are science-based.

Relevant: Our information is timely.

Reachable: Call us for answers.

The Master Gardener Helpline: 877-252-4769

Community Motivated

What is Master Gardener training?

The Alabama Master Gardener training program provides 50 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction. Classes in the training program include the following:

  • home lawns
  • trees and shrubs
  • Alabama Smart Yards
  • annuals and perennials
  • plant propagation
  • vegetable gardening
  • soil science
  • pest management
  • and more

Courses are taught by Extension specialists and agents, local specialists, and certified Master Gardeners.

Extension Trained

What does Master Gardener require?

Participants are required to report 50 hours of volunteer service. (That’s fewer than seven workdays at a full-time job.) Projects range from answering Helpline calls and assisting Extension agent workshops to ongoing community projects.

Where is Master Gardener training offered?

Participants are welcome to join classes in any of the hosting counties regardless of residence. A registration fee and background check are required upon acceptance to the program.

Download the Master Gardener Training Program Application

Download a PDF of the Alabama Master Gardeners Volunteer Program brochure, ANR-1120.

Download this article as a PDF

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