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A Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) is an individual who has received University of Florida-designed training to become a volunteer educator in the Horticulture program. A Master Gardener Volunteer educates and provides research-based information to Floridians about gardening, environmental horticulture, and pest management, as well as planning and maintaining urban, suburban and rural landscapes with an emphasis on environmental stewardship.

In addition, these volunteers assist homeowners with their landscape and garden concerns, staff information booths at special events, give presentations to garden clubs, work with youth groups (4-H, scouts, public and private school students, etc.), assist with community gardens, and help train and facilitate horticultural activities for the developmentally and physically challenged, as well as senior populations.

Training objectives

Within a year of their initial training, MGV trainees must provide 75 hours of volunteer service: 25 hours at the main Plant Clinic at the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County office; 25 hours in plant propagation efforts at Twin Lakes Park; and 25 hours maintaining demonstration gardens and providing public education and outreach.

After completing the 75 hours of service, trainees receive the "Master Gardener Volunteer" title. To remain active in the program thereafter, MGVs each year must provide 50 hours of volunteer service and obtain 15 continuing education units (CEUs).

Training schedule

MGV training generally lasts approximately 14 weeks, meeting once per week at the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County office, Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.

The 2024 training is full and applications are no longer being accepted. Sarasota County residents interested in a spot on the waitlist for 2025 training can call 941-861-9900 or email

Learn more about composting, vermiculture, gardening, maintaining healthy lawns, invasive species and many other topics that MGVs focus on, join us at a class. Most are free. Find us online in webinars, or in-person at a location near you. Visit our event listings page to view our latest offerings, or sign-up for our "Class Blast" newsletter to get a list of our upcoming events delivered to your email in box.

For more information, please call 941-861-5000 or email