What is a Master Gardener?
The Michigan Master Gardener Program is a horticulture education and volunteer leader training program offered by Michigan State University Extension (MSUE). It provides home gardening information to Michigan citizens through a network of trained volunteers. An interest in plants, personal commitment to volunteerism and an enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with others are the only prerequisites. Students will learn basic horticultural principles and environmentally sound gardening practices. They then provide volunteer leadership and service to their community through a variety of gardening-related activities.
- To provide instruction in basic horticultural science to motivated, active gardeners.
- To provide MSU Extension with trained volunteers who will provide timely, accurate information to the public in the rapidly expanding area of home horticulture.
The Master Gardener course provides an overview of major horticultural subjects in a classroom setting. Master Gardener trainees in Antrim County attend a series of 11 weeks and work from a 700-page Master Gardener notebook. Classes are usually held on Monday evenings from 6:30—9:30 pm.
Weekly quizzes will be given to monitor progress, and trainees must score 70 on the take-home final exam to become eligible for Master Gardener Certification, but don’t that deter you from taking the course. The intent is not for Master Gardeners to commit 700 pages to memory, but rather to develop a group of volunteers trained in horticulture. Their knowledge and skills will enable them to share gardening skills and information with Michigan citizens.
Volunteer Community Service
Students who complete 40 hours of volunteer community service after taking the basic Master education course receive Master Gardener Certification. There are several approved volunteer opportunities to participate in. The Antrim MSU Extension office will provide you with a list of volunteer opportunities
Educate Your Community
After taking the Master Gardener course, you will be able to help your community through the following ways:
- Help gardeners solve their plant problems
- Promote environmental responsibility
- Beautify your community by teaching residents about appropriate plants for our climate
- Work with youth and community gardens