Becoming a Florida Master Gardener Volunteer
Florida Master Gardeners are trained volunteers through the University of Florida for the purpose of educating residents in research-based Florida friendly gardening. The training is one day a week for ten to twelve weeks with mandatory minimum volunteer and continuing education hours required each year.
Master Gardener (MG) volunteers help the County Extension answer local residents' questions relating to gardening and the landscape. It is an educational program, not a work program. This means that IRC Florida Master Gardener volunteers teach Indian River County residents Florida lawn and garden care based on UF research.
Volunteer opportunities are numerous, fun, and varied, including:
- Answer gardening, lawn, insect, and pesticide/fertilizer questions
- Perform soil pH tests in our lab
- Give gardening lectures to the public
- Help at a Master Gardener booth at community festivals
- Identify plants and most common insects
- Diagnose plant problems and give solutions
- Identify wildlife causing problems in the yard
- Advise homeowners on landscape plant choices
- Show proper pruning techniques
- Teach school children how to plant and grow in a school garden
- And much more...
And, of course, Master Gardener volunteers have fun and make new friends who also have an interest in outdoor gardening. There are educational field trip opportunities, private plant swaps, monthly meetings, continuing education lectures, parties, knowledge exchanges, MG Conferences, and UF webinar events. And it is all volunteer based. Master Gardener Volunteers can be involved where you have time with a minimum of hours required after the first year.
If you think you might like to become a Florida Master Gardener Volunteer, please see the Master Gardener website. There is an application, interview, and background check involved to be accepted into the program. There is also a fee for this in-depth University of Florida Master Gardener Volunteer training. For more information on this valuable Indian River County Extension MG Program, e-mail our Environmental Horticulture Agent, Nickie Munroe at: Lnmunroe@ufl.edu.