Master Gardener Program

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Thanks a Million!

NDSU Extension Master Gardeners have contributed over a $1,000,000 in volunteer service to North Dakota since 2013.

The Situation

As North Dakota’s population expands, the demand for horticultural expertise and services continues to grow. This demand cannot be met by Extension personnel alone. The Master Gardener Program was created to enhance NDSU Extension’s horticultural outreach into communities across the state.

Extension Response

Each year, NDSU Extension offers a 40-hour Master Gardener Core Course to train volunteers. The course covers a wide variety of topics such as flowering plants, trees and shrubs, soils, plant pathology, entomology, fruits, vegetable production, and integrated pest management. The course is taught by knowledgeable Extension faculty and agents. In exchange for this cutting-edge education, Master Gardeners agree to volunteer in cooperation with NDSU Extension in communities around the state. To become certified Master Gardeners, interns must complete 48 hours of volunteer service over two years. Certified Master Gardeners must then volunteer 20 hours per year to maintain certification.

Impacts

Master Gardeners use their education to volunteer in their communities. They answer gardening questions in Extension offices, organize horticultural workshops, give talks and demonstrations, grow food for the pantries, and teach children the joys of gardening. Other Master Gardeners beautify the state by designing and maintaining community, school, and church gardens. Special statewide projects include designing and maintaining pollinator gardens to teach the public about pollinator habitat conservation. Public institutions such as zoos, historical sites and museums also greatly benefit from the generosity of Master Gardeners.

Between 2013 and 2018, Master Gardeners donated 44,574 hours to horticultural-based community service. Using a commonly used value of volunteer service, the value totals $1,113,956.

Value of Master Gardener Volunteer Service

Year

Dollar Value*

2013

$60,453

2014

$92,702

2015

$169,684

2016

$278,429

2017

$261,938

2018

$250,750

Total

$1,113,956

*Hourly value of volunteer service from Independent Sector’s Value of Volunteer Time in North Dakota

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