Master Gardener logo, green on white
Master Gardener Volunteers visit the Ottawa Experimental Farm
Image by Kristin Colarusso
Master Gardener, Mary Harris, building raised beds.
Image by Chester Galle
Master Gardener, Charlie Jurenko, testing pH of soil for resident during Fall pH Clinics,
Image by Rick Martin

Master Gardener Program

Cornell Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Volunteer program is an integral part of educational programs for home, school and community gardeners at all levels of expertise.

This unique volunteer program has become internationally recognized and programs exist across North America including throughout NYS, through Cornell's Department of Horticulture. Master Gardener Volunteers complete a 45-hour minimum basic horticulture training course to build a common foundation in soil science, composting, botany, insect biology, plant diseases, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), wildlife management as well as best practices in cultivating vegetables, fruits, herbs, houseplants, trees and shrubs.

Training often expands beyond horticulture content to included skill development in communication, community leadership, peer education and working with specific audiences such as children and youth or older adults.

If you would like to reach beyond your garden gate to help individuals, families and communities in your area achieve gardening success that leads to a healthier life and environmental stewardship; contact your local county CCE Master Gardener Volunteer program.

To learn more about the Master Gardener Volunteer program in New York State, visit:

Contact your local CCE Association to apply to volunteer. Contact information for county Horticulture programs are listed to the left.

Last updated July 26, 2019