LINCOLN — Interested in learning more about gardening and landscape practices? Are you a plant enthusiast? Do you have a passion for giving back to the community by sharing science-based horticulture information? Nebraska Extension is announcing applications are available for beginning training as a Volunteer in the Extension Master Gardener program. 2022 training classes will be offering virtual training.
The Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteer (NE-EMGV) program is a horticulture-related volunteer training program that has been part of Nebraska Extension since 1976. Nebraska Extension faculty and staff in horticulture, environment and landscape-system-related topics train NE-EMGVs using integrated pest management strategies. Working through the local Extension office, the trained NE-EMGVs use these unique skills to give time to participate in horticulture and landscape projects within the communities. More specifically, to provide education about sustainable horticultural practices while developing valuable partnerships within the community. NE-EMGVs are helping to act on local issues while leveraging the resources of Nebraska Extension and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Participants must complete 40 hours of class training and 40 hours of volunteer service during the initial year of their involvement in the program. The initial training curriculum covers plant science, botany, insects, weed and wildlife management, pesticide safety, soils, turfgrass, and whole landscape system management.
NE-EMGV retain their certification through annual training and volunteering. Volunteer tasks may involve answering phones at a county Extension office, giving horticulture presentations to community organizations, assisting 4-H clubs with garden projects, judging horticulture exhibits at county and state fairs, participating in community garden projects, writing a garden column for the local paper, and more.
NE-EMGV class times, location, and cost vary across the state but generally offer February through May. The 2022 training curriculum is presented in an in-person virtual hybrid format.
Volunteer applicants should be at least 19 years of age with a passion for plants, gardens and an excitement for learning more about your landscape system. Volunteers need to be willing to commit to the training and volunteer process and meet all requirements for yearly recertification.
For more information about the Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program, find a training location coordinator near you, or to complete an application form, visit mastergardener.unl.edu.