Master Gardener logo, red and black

Master Gardener volunteers help extend gardening knowledge into the community.

Master Gardener Volunteers

What is the Master Gardener Program?

This well established program allows individuals to join their love of gardening with community involvement. Master Gardener volunteers deliver research based information to the community in many different ways.

Over the years, Cornell Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Program has become a point of contact for community members with gardening questions. Our volunteers have diagnosed thousands of plant, pest and soil problems, instructed hundreds of classes and sponsored numerous exhibits and diagnostic booths around the county.

Who Are Master Gardeners?

Master Gardeners are people who enjoy gardening as much as they enjoy involvement with their community. Our current group of volunteers consists of doctors, professors, retirees from many fields, artists, architects, homemakers, landscapers, and entrepreneurs of all types.

What is involved in becoming a Master Gardener?

Candidates interested in becoming a Master Gardener are interviewed to see if the program is a good “fit” for their skills and talents. The selected individuals then participate in the Master Gardener training course, a 14 week class offered in alternate years. After passing a written exam, first and second year Master Gardener trainees are required to volunteer 50 hours annually. Thereafter, they are required to volunteer 30 hours per year in order to maintain an active status in the program. A flexible time schedule is necessary to participate in this program.

What do Master Gardeners do with their volunteer time?

Master Gardener volunteers research and answer horticulture questions during office hours, design and maintain demonstration gardens/ projects, write articles about gardening, staff the county fair horticulture information booth, speak to small public groups, and develop and run community improvement projects.

How would becoming a Master Gardener benefit me?

Along with becoming a more knowledgeable gardener, you will have the opportunity to attend Master Gardener workshops around the state, as well as regional and national conferences. You will be given access to the resource library in the Consumer Horticulture office during office hours. A complimentary subscription to the Master Gardener newsletter will be sent to you home on a monthly basis. You will also be surrounded by individuals of all backgrounds who share your interest in gardening. Master Gardeners also have field trips, training classes, and other events for educational purposes.


David Chinery
Horticulture Turf Management Sr. Resource Educator
(518) 272-4210 ext 114

Last updated June 1, 2018