The Master Gardener program is more than a horticulture class or a garden club.

It is a volunteer program that enables participants to serve their communities as horticultural educators.  Not only do UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteers increase their knowledge of horticulture, but the can also develop communication, management, and leadership skills that can be used in all aspects of life.

Volunteering is a privilege, not a right, and can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, having a positive effect on your community and yourself.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 59 million Americans volunteer annually through charitable organizations.  MGVs return incredible numbers of volunteers annually to their communities.  As a MGV you will join the UW-Extension family of volunteers, and these millions of other people, by volunteering your time and expertise in many ways for community programs and activities.

Depending on which county you take MG training, you may be involved with a large, well-established MG program that already has numerous approved projects just waiting for people to participate in.  In other counties, you may work with the county UW-Extension educator to uncover a need in the community and develop a volunteer project in response.

Volunteer project examples.

Please contact your county educator or program coordinator for a specific list of approved projects available for you.

Community Education

  • Assisting clientele that come into the UW-Extension Office for information
  • Respond to telephone calls or emails from homeowners
  • Preparation of and presentations at demonstration sites, at fair or show booths, etc.
  • Staffing plan and diagnostic clinics
  • Writing leaflets, newspaper columns and other items that are available to the general public
  • Speaking on gardening and environmental subjects to identified audiences such as garden clubs, school groups, homeowner associations, or church groups as part of workshops, classes or meetings.

Youth Education

  • Farm to School programs
  • 4-H project advisor for plant sciences

Support Services

  • Installation and maintenance of landscaping plantings around community (public) buildings
  • Assisting municipalities in developing landscape plans for public buildings or facilities
  • Hunger prevention projects, such as community gardens, donating produce or organizing Plant-A-?Row for the Hungry projects
  • Environmental stewardship projects, such as invasive species eradication, collecting native plants seeds for prairie restoration projects, or lake shore restoration activities
  • Planning and conducting MG business meetings or training classes
  • Preparation of horticulture articles for the MG newsletter or website
  • Any other activities that maintain the MG program, such as assisting UW-Extension office staff with program-related activities or serving on committees for local or state MG functions, including conferences