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 so 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 oppourtunities, private plant swaps, monthly meetings & CEUs, parties, knowledge exchanges, MG Conferences, and UF webinar events. And it is all volunteer based so you can be involved where you have time with a minimum amount of hours required after the first year.
If you think you might like to become a Florida Master Gardener Volunteer, find out more by visiting here: https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/mastergardener/ There is an application, interview, and background check involved to be accepted into the program. There is also a fee for this University of Florida MG training. For more information on Indian River County Extension MG Program e-mail our Environmental Horticulture Agent, Nickie Munroe at: Lnmunroe@ufl.edu.