How did the Master Gardener Volunteer Program originate?
The Master Gardener Volunteer program originated in Seattle, Washington in 1972. The Extension agent in the King County office of the Washington State University Extension Service began to train and utilize the expertise of volunteers to more effectively reach the gardening public with research-based educational information. It was a great concept that has now spread across the United States, to Canada and other countries.
The Master Gardener Volunteer program in Ohio has existed since the late 1970s and has grown steadily. Although its initial start and growth was in the more urban counties of our state, there are now more than 3,000 active Master Gardener Volunteers in more than 62 Ohio counties (urban, suburban and rural).
The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local OSU Extension county office. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must!
Working with county Extension personnel, Master Gardener Volunteers provide educational services to their communities such as: answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons; beautifying the community; developing community or demonstration gardens; and other horticultural activities.