The Houston County Master Gardeners are a group of everyday people who are passionate about gardening and committed to giving back to their local communities in southeast Minnesota. Each member of this group has completed an educational program put on by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. This program covers many aspects of gardening, including botany, soils, trees & shrubs, herbaceous plants, indoor plants, fruits, vegetables, lawn care, entomology, plant pests, and diseases. In exchange for their certification they must annually contribute at least 25 volunteer hours of education to the general public. As well, they must complete 5-12 education hours per year.
Some activities of Master Gardeners include:
- teaching classes and workshops
- answering phone inquiries concerning home horticulture
- assisting with county Horticulture Days
- teaching and demonstrating horticulture techniques in community and school gardens
- teaching youth and judging horticulture projects
- media interviews and articles on horticulture topics
- speaking to schools and youth groups on gardening topics
- holding plant clinics at garden centers and farmers markets
- representing the program at county and state fair exhibits
- teaching horticulture in hospitals, nursing homes, and retirement centers
The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener™ program is an internationally recognized volunteer program. It exists in all fifty states, in Canada and in the United Kingdom. Nationally, there are nearly 100,000 Master Gardener volunteers from all walks of life. They reach about 5 million people each year – the equivalent of more than $100 million in value to communities. In Minnesota, the Master Gardener program is coordinated by University of Minnesota Extension and has strong ties to the research and outreach of the Department of Horticultural Science.
Here’s a Link to the University of Minnesota’s Yard and Garden website. By scrolling down to the Master Gardener option, you can find the information for How to Become a Master Gardener Volunteer.
Check out the University of Minnesota Master Gardener Facebook Page. Click Here.
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