Who are Tennessee Master Gardeners?
Tennessee Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who help the local Extension Service share gardening information with the community. All volunteers are initially trained through 40 hours of classroom teaching and 40 hours of hands-on experience. Master Gardeners who continue to participate in the program after completing their initial training provide at least forty hours of service annually and continue to learn with a minimum of eight continuing education hours each year.
State-wide, there are approximately 2,000 active Master Gardeners in 57 counties. For the 2011 fiscal year, Tennessee Master Gardeners provided 136,305 volunteer hours which is equivalent to $2.5 million worth of services. Nationally, there are approximately 94,865 active Master Gardener volunteers in the United States and Canada who provided 5.2 million volunteer hours in 2009 which had a value of $101.4 million.
The Master Gardener Program is offered by The University of Tennessee Extension. Its main goal is to increase the availability of horticultural information to improve quality of life with community garden/landscape programs. This is only possible through the training and utilization of volunteers, known as Master Gardeners. The Memphis Area Master Gardeners (MAMG) provide services to Shelby County under the supervision of the University of Tennessee Shelby County Extension Service.
What does a Master Gardener do?
Some examples of activities include:
Developing educational programs/activities related to urban horticulture
Conducting educational seminars
Designing and implementing Community Involvement Projects
Coordinating Master Gardener training programs
Working with the handicapped, the youth, the elderly and other special groups in the community
Providing Plant Clinics
Answering phone requests for horticultural information
Writing news articles
Establishing and Maintaining Demonstration Gardens
Conducting fundraising for better environmental projects
Recent Educational Programs provided by Memphis Area Master Gardeners:
Spring Fling Seminars
· Native Plants
· Urban Chickens
· Gardening for Cut Flowers
· Plants of the Ancient World
Youth Plant Camp
Dream Team Gardening Presentations