HOW TO BECOME A MASTER GARDENER
What is involved in becoming a Master Gardener?
Do you love gardening? Do you have a desire for life-long learning? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge or skills with others? If you answered YES to those questions, you are on the way.
Do I need to have professional gardening experience & skills?
While it is useful to have some general gardening experience, a formal education in horticulture isn't necessary. University of Minnesota Extension educators provide the horticulture training and resources to equip you. Having good communication skills and a desire to work with people is also helpful.
What is the process for becoming an Anoka County Master Gardener volunteer?
- Be well informed about the roles and responsibilities of Master Gardeners listed in the INTRODUCTORY LETTER. Additional details are explained clearly in this letter.
- Apply to the program and complete (by typing) all three sections of the APPLICATION (doc.) plus the SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS (doc.) (If unable to download, contact 763-324-3495 for alternative formats)
- Submit FOUR (typed) copies of the application and supplemental questions by October 2, 2017.
- Be selected for an interview
- Once selected, submit and pass an online background screening.
- Register and pay the fee of $320 for the Core Course by December 1 (includes $290 to cover course and material fees and $30 for background screening). Regular tuition fees are not charged. (A $50 rebate is offered to all who submit their application (postmarked) by an early bird deadline of 9/18/17 and are accepted into the program. Rebates will be issued end of their intern year). Applications received and postmarked after 9/18/17 will not be eligible for the rebate. Scholarships are also available upon request.
Want to know more about the program before applying?
Attend our informational event to learn more about Extension’s mission and goals for the Master Gardener program, as well as how to apply to the program. Learn from other Master Gardener volunteers about the array of local activities they participate in. And, sit back and enjoy a monthly continuing education program that is offered for current Anoka County Master Gardeners.
WHEN AND WHERE? Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 6:30-9:00 PM. Located at the Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd NW, Andover, MN 55304 Let us know you’re coming by calling 763-324-3495 to pre-register.
If I become a Master Gardener, what is the commitment?
During the first year, Master Gardener Interns are required to donate 50 hours of volunteer service and complete 5 additional hours of continuing education over and above the Core Course. After the first year, 25 volunteer hours plus 5 continuing education hours are required annually to maintain certification as a Master Gardener.
- August 24, 2017: Informational event.
- September 18, 2017: $50 early bird rebate deadline (see application for more information).
- October 2, 2017: Application deadline.
- October 23 or 30 (varying times): Interviews for those who advance to the second round.
- 2017 Tuesday before Thanksgiving: Deadline for submission of background check information.
- December 1, 2017: Deadline for Core Course registration
- December: (date to be determined). Intern orientation event. (Meet and greet fellow students and Master Gardener mentors.)
- January 12, 2018 through February 9, 2018: Core Course (MN Landscape Arboretum.) All Master Gardener Interns are required to take the Core Course which is taught by members of the University of MN Extension and University of Minnesota faculty. The 2017 Core Course will be held Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska. There is also an on-line option; interns are encouraged to attend as many of the live sessions at the Arboretum as able for the best learning experience. Topics taught at Core Course include: critical thinking and navigating culture, soils, entomology, botany, diagnostics, trees & shrubs, herbaceous plants, lawn care, plant pathology, weeds, wildlife, integrated pest management, vegetables, fruits.
- January: (date to be determined) Saturday bag lunch meeting with mentors and students during Core Course.
- Fourth Thursday of February: Volunteer Activities Update Session. Interns are required to attend this meeting and highly encouraged to attend all others educational Update Meetings typically held the 4th Thursday of the month. (January - October)
- Third Thursday of November: Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event and Awards Celebration. Interns completing their requirements receive certification. All Master Gardeners are highly encouraged to attend.