Master Gardener logo, 800x400 in yellow & green

Master Gardener volunteers help extend gardening knowledge into the community.

Master Gardener volunteer conducts a pH soil test on a soil sample
Image by Sandy Repp

Master Gardener volunteer testing soil pH.

Black-eyed susans / Rudbeckia growing through a fence
Image by Sandy Repp


Master Gardener Volunteers

What is the Master Gardener Program? The Master Gardener Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension office to extend information throughout their communities. The first Master Gardener program was started in Washington State in 1972.

Who becomes a Master Gardener? Master Gardeners are people who have some horticultural experience and a sincere desire to share that experience with others. Master Gardeners come from all walks of life, and are united by their enthusiasm for plants and people.

How Do I Become a Master Gardener? To become a Master Gardener, send your name, address and phone number to: Nancy at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 480 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424. Your information will be placed in a file and Nancy will notify you several months in advance of the next training. The next training will be held in the fall of 2025.

What Does A Master Gardener Do? Master Gardeners are expected to share their horticultural training with the community in the form of 100 hours of volunteer work with Cooperative Extension over a two year period. Volunteer activities are somewhat flexible. After your initial 100 hours over a two year period you may continue as a Master Gardener by signing a statement that you will give a minimum of 25 hours of volunteer time over the coming year back to Cornell Cooperative Extension. This pledge becomes an annual event.

Some activities include:
• Put together exhibits and displays
• Give gardening lectures/demonstrations to outside groups and organizations
• Teach horticultural classes that are open to the general public
• Attend Master Gardener meetings
• Participate in the annual plant sale
• Work with 4-H youth and school projects related to horticulture
• Organize spring garden symposiums
• Answer questions and give horticultural advice to clients
• Attend in-service opportunities on a county, state and regional level


Nancy Anderson
Operations Coordinator/Senior Administrative Assistant
(585) 394-3977 x 427

Last updated April 6, 2024