The original Extension Master Gardener Program was created at Washington State University in 1972. Today, Master Gardener programs are offered across the nation as well as in nine Canadian provinces and South Korea. For an overall perspective of the national program, refer to the following document: EMG_National_Report_2016.pdf
Michigan State University Extension offered its first Master Gardener Program in 1978. Since this time, over 31,000 residents from 77 Michigan counties have been involved in the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program. In 2016, 3,991 Extension Master Gardener volunteers provided over 170,380 volunteer hours and reported an additional 397,410 contacts with Michigan citizens. Through their volunteer outreach, EMGs shared science-based, environmentally-sound gardening knowledge and engaged citizens and empowered communities in the following areas:
- environmentally responsible gardening practices (examples: educating others on protecting and preserving water quality, invasive species, environmentally-friendly pest management strategies and native plants)
- improving food security (examples: teaching citizens how to grow their own food and providing technical assistance and mentorship for community food gardens and giving gardens)
- improving community (examples: providing gardening classes for citizens with specials needs, senior centers, assisting local beautification boards)
- developing youth through gardening (examples: teaching Junior Master Gardener class, assisting teachers and community members with school gardens and after-school programs)
While direct impacts are difficult to measure, using data established by the Independent Sector, the economic value of these volunteer hours equates to over $4.01 M. The value of miles driven (880,735 miles) in support of volunteer educational outreach equates to an additional $123,303 contribution. In total, the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program’s economic contribution to the State of Michigan in 2016 was $4.14 M! 2016_Statewide_Summary_Report.pdf
Being in the Master Gardener Program requires only an enthusiasm for gardening and a willingness and commitment to volunteer. Applicants attend training classes to learn basic horticulture principles and environmentally sound practices. Once they complete at least 40 hours of community-based service, they earn the title of certified Extension Master Gardener.
Through continued education, knowledge sharing and creation of more livable communities, the MGP continues to make the Great Lakes State one of the most diversely beautiful states in the country.
August 10, 2017 | Rebecca Krans | Online registration extended to Aug. 15 for Master Gardener Program offered in Marquette, Michigan.
July 25, 2017 | Diane Brown | Registration deadline for the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program in Mason, Michigan, is Aug. 14, 2017.
July 13, 2017 | Rebecca Finneran | Michigan State University Extension Master Gardener volunteers find solutions to garden problems and share their knowledge of science-based gardening practices.
June 20, 2017 | Monica Day | Along the Kiwanis Trail with Adrian College Professor Janet Salzwedel
May 5, 2017 | Rebecca Finneran | Thinking about starting a garden, or already garden as a hobby? Register today to become a Master Gardener and share your passion with others. Classes in west Michigan start Sept. 5.
January 30, 2017 | Rebecca Krans | Meet Phyllis Johnson, a Master Gardener who coordinates community involvement and garden education to beautify the community of Chassell, Michigan.
January 27, 2017 | Sarah Rautio | Ogemaw and Iosco County MSU Extension Master Gardeners earned special recognition for volunteering 10,063 hours of garden education to local communities.
January 6, 2017 | Diane Brown | The Capital Area Master Gardeners Annual Winter Symposium is a perfect opportunity to meet with old and new gardening friends, attend great programs and browse a garden marketplace.
December 27, 2016 | Mary Wilson | Learn about gardening from MSU faculty and staff and share your knowledge to help individuals and communities grow.
September 23, 2016 | Rebecca Krans | Jeannette Hauver earned special recognition for her volunteer garden service of creating and maintaining 13 different flower gardens in Marquette, Michigan.