Master Gardener Volunteer Program
Florida Master Gardeners are University of
Florida-trained volunteer teachers. Master Gardeners educate and provide
research-based information to Floridians about gardening, America's most popular
pastime. Their information about planning and maintaining urban, suburban, and
rural landscapes always emphasizes environmental stewardship.
The Master Gardener Program is a major outreach that assists Extension in
significant horticultural educational efforts in the community. Master Gardener volunteers provide much of the first contact
through Plant Clinics, Plant Lifelines, and other educational programming.
The volunteers (or MGs as they call themselves) execute a variety of outreach
tasks as determined by the program leader (usually the consumer horticultural
agent). Duties include: Answering horticultural questions over the phone, in
person, or through the media; Participating in public service projects; Giving
educational programs; supporting youth activities, performing soil sample
evaluations; and Assisting in field research.
During 2001, Florida Master Gardener Volunteers assisted horticulture agents in
developing and promoting non-commercial horticulture ultimately increasing
environmental action and awareness in 56 counties. Statewide more than 3,678
volunteers contributed 309,825 hours to local county horticulture extension
educational programs providing $4,972,697.00 worth of services to citizens of
Florida (Florida State Master Gardener Program Website). There are presently
nearly 100 Charlotte County Master Gardeners assisting the Horticulture Outreach
Program at the County Extension Office. These trained volunteers contributed
over 26,186 hours from 2000 through 2005 valued at $433,116.00. This corps of
paraprofessionals has proved to be an essential part of educating our customers
in this rapidly growing, horticulturally-challenged community.
Gardener Sprouting Kit