Master Gardener Program
The WVU Extension Master Gardener Program provides people interested in gardening with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills by taking part in Basic/Level 1 and Advanced/Level 2 training programs that provide in-depth training in various aspects of horticulture.
The program helps residents better understand horticultural and environmental issues through community engagement in gardening and beautification projects at schools, parks, public institutions, community organizations, and locations throughout the state.
Benefits of becoming a WVU Extension Master Gardener
Among the many benefits for getting involved with the WVU Extension Master Gardener program, here are the highest-ranking ones:
- Getting to know more about gardening and horticulture to expand personal horizons and be able to help others
- Significant improvements in quality of life, including physical activity, social activity, self-esteem and nutrition
- Offers opportunities for professional development through continuing training opportunities
- Meeting like-minded people and engaging in the garden activities you are passionate about
- Opportunities to assume responsibility
- Encourages individual independence
- Gaining respect in the community for your newly developed horticultural skills
- Flexibility to conduct volunteer work
How do you join?
The first step is to see if your county offers the program. Many of those in West Virginia do, so even if yours doesn’t, a neighboring county may. Call your local WVU Extension Service Office for information and watch for meetings in your area.
Once you’ve found a program, you’ll get 40 hours of training during a 12-week program where you’ll learn about a variety of things including: botany, plant propagation, entomology, pesticides and pest management, plant disease, soil and fertilizers, turfgrass management, vegetable gardening, gardening equipment, tree fruits, small fruit, pruning, landscape design, woody ornamentals, indoor plants, herbaceous plants, garden animals and teaching methods.
From there, pass a test and complete 40 hours of initial volunteer work and you’ll have earned the right to call yourself a WVU Extension Master Gardener.
Get out and help others grow while you grow your knowledge! Each year, a WVU Extension Master Gardener must complete 20 volunteer hours and 10 additional hours of horticulture training. Opportunities to volunteer are numerous, everything from helping your local WVU Extension agent answer questions to community beautification projects, coordinating school gardening programs to helping maintain the demonstration garden at the state fairgrounds in Fairlea — just to name a few.
There are numerous opportunities to connect with fellow Master Gardeners, not only in your community, but also across the state. The West Virginia Master Gardener Association hosts an annual conference that allows Master Gardeners from all over West Virginia to share ideas and projects and learn from expert speakers and interactive tours.
If you have questions about the program, contact your local WVU Extension Service office to get started today.
Master Gardener Member Resources
- Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Application
Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Agreement
- Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Code of Conduct
Extension Master Gardener Policy Statement and Guidelines
Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Activity Log - Word
Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Activity Log - Excel
- Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Activity Log - PDF
How to order a WVU Extension Master Gardener Manual
County Master Gardener Program coordinators are responsible for signing up new trainees and will take care of ordering the manuals for those participants. Each coordinator will submit their county’s manual order to the WVU Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources office by contacting the office manager, Katie Herlihy (Katie.Herlihy@mail.wvu.edu) with copy to Mira Danilovich, WVU Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator (Mira.Danilovich@mail.wvu.edu). The office will prepare the invoice and send it with the shipment of the manuals.
Manuals are available in two formats: a printed version and an electronic version. Printed manuals are $75, and the electronic version is $30. You will find all the related information covered in 22 chapters across more than 1,000 pages.
Master Gardener Annual Awards
Extensional Master Gardener Association
WVU Extension Service
- Outstanding Extension Master Gardener of the Year
- Outstanding Extension Master Gardener Project of the Year
Master Gardener News & Events
WVU Extension Service Master Gardener training is typically offered through in-person courses organized by WVU Extension Service offices around the state. Due to the persistent risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have modified how we will work with our clientele through the fall. WVU Extension Service will continue offering online Master Gardener training classes for the fall, beginning on August 20, 2020.
Please note that all interested participants will still have to go through their local WVU Extension office to sign up for the program and complete all necessary paperwork. All prospective trainees must undergo the WVU Extension Service volunteer selection process. This process includes a background check, references and an interview.
Upcoming Extension Master Gardener Events
- Nov56:00 PM - 9:00 PMMaster Gardener Fall Training - Tree Fruits/Varities Rootstocks & Healthcare
- Nov126:00 PM - 9:00 PMMaster Gardener Fall Training - Small Fruits & Edible Landscape Plants, Varietes & Care
- Nov196:00 PM - 9:00 PMMaster Gardener Fall Training - Vegetable Garden Planning, Companion Planting, Care & Harvest