Lincoln, Neb. —Nebraska Extension is accepting applications for its 2021 Master Gardner Volunteer training program. The 2021 training will take place virtually.
The Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program is a horticulture-related volunteer training program based in many counties and has been part of Nebraska Extension since 1976. Volutneers are trained by Nebraska Extension faculty and staff in horticulture, environmental, and landscape-system related topics. It was designed for individuals interested in learning more about gardening and landscape practices, or who have a passion for giving back to the community by sharing science-based horticulture information.
Working through their local Extension office, the trained volunteers use these unique skills, to participate in horticulture and landscape projects within their communities. More specifically, they provide education about sustainable horticultural practices while developing valuable partnerships within the community and leveraging the resources of Nebraska Extension and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Participants are required to complete 40 hours of class training and 40 hours of volunteer service during the initial year of their involvement in the program. The initial training curriculum covers topics such as plant science, botany, insects, weed and wildlife management, pesticide safety, soils, turfgrass, and whole landscape system management.
Volunteers retain their certification through annual training and volunteering. Volunteer tasks may involve answering phones at a county Extension office, giving horticulture presentations to community organizations, assisting 4-H clubs with garden projects, judging horticulture exhibits at county and state fairs, participating in community garden projects, writing a garden column for the local paper and more.
Class times, location, and cost vary across the state but are generally offered February through May. The 2021 trainings will be presented virtually.
Volunteer applicants should be at least 19 years old, with a passion for plants, gardens, and an excitement for learning more about your landscape system. Volunteers need to be willing to commit to the training and volunteer process and meet all requirements for yearly recertification.
For more information about the Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program, find a training location coordinator near you, or learn to complete an application form, visit mastergardener.unl.edu.