Being a Master Gardener

What comes to mind when you hear “Master Gardener”?

Being a Master Gardener is about becoming a VOLUNTEER with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension to help educate the public about gardening and natural resources. It’s not about knowing everything about gardening. It’s about learning to ask the right questions and knowing how to look up information from appropriate resources.  Being a Master Gardener is about helping deliver meaningful community programs to improve the well-being of individuals and communities, to protect natural resources, and to help keep fresh fruits and vegetables on the table. It’s about working in tandem with Extension staff and other volunteers to make a difference in the places we live, learn, and work.

Volunteer helping young woman water plants

Master Gardener Volunteers tackle tough issues in their communities - food security, invasive species, pollinator decline, and more.

Master Gardener Volunteers assist their local university extension educators address identified community needs, such as:

  • Increasing food security
  • Creating safe green spaces
  • Beautification projects in downtowns and parks
  • Garden therapy programs with seniors to maintain their physical and mental health
  • School garden programs to promote science awareness in kids
  • Display gardens to protect pollinators, combat invasives, and encourage gardening
  • Answering gardening questions, using the internet in addition to the phone and face-to-face
  • Facilitate gardening projects at schools, libraries, and other public community sites
  • Use gardening to teach life skills to the incarcerated
  • And much more

Being a Master Gardener has opened up so many opportunities for me in this area, just in the friendships alone. And learning has been a wonderful benefit, too.”

Learn more about what Wisconsin MGVs do in the Annual Report.


Connected to Extension

By becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer you become a representative of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and assist Division of Extension staff with scholarly community programs relating to horticulture and the environment.  You DON’T need to know everything about gardening — you’ll learn more and more as you participate in the program. You DO need to have an interest in learning and giving back to your community by working with your Extension office to deliver timely research based information. Scientific and digital literacy is also recommended.

With an office in each Wisconsin county, Extension develops practical educational programs tailored to local needs and based on university knowledge and research. We deliver our expertise to the public, addressing a wide range of needs to people, plants and animals, in both urban and rural areas of the states.