Applications are now closed for the 2017 Master Gardener Program. Recruitment will begin again in August 2017.

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?

  1. Be well informed about the roles and responsibilities of Master Gardeners listed in the INTRODUCTORY LETTER.
  2. Apply to the program and complete all three sections of the APPLICATION plus the SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
  3. Submit four copies of the application and supplemental questions by October 1, 2017.
  4. Be selected for an interview
  5. Once selected, submit and pass an online background screening.
  6. 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 at the end of their intern year) Scholarships are also available.

Choose your preference for either a .doc or .pdf format below for the Application & Supplemental Questions.

(Recruitment for 2017 is closed. The 2018 Application and Questions will be available in August 2017)

not yet available: 2018 Extension Master Gardener – Anoka County Application (.doc), plus Supplemental Questions (.doc)
not yet available: 2018 Extension Master Gardener – Anoka County Application (.pdf), plus Supplemental Questions (.pdf)

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 about the array of local activities Master Gardener volunteers participate in while also experiencing a monthly continuing education program for current Anoka County Master Gardeners.

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.

Important dates

  • (next season) August 24, 2017: Information event.
  • (next season) October 2, 2017: Application deadline.
  • (next season) October dates to be determined (varying times): Interviews.
  • 2016 Tuesday before Thanksgiving: Deadline for submission of background check data.
  • December 1, 2016: Deadline for 2017 Core Course registration
  • December: (date to be determined). Intern orientation event.  (Meet and greet fellow students and Master Gardener mentors.)
  • January 13 through February 4:  2017 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.