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How Can I Become a Master Gardener?

 
 

The Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the educational mission of promoting good and sustainable gardening practices.

 

Our purpose is to provide the means by which graduates of the Master Gardener Program may:

  • Share their knowledge and expertise and offer help and assistance to the public.

  • Extend their knowledge of and interests in gardening and related topics through seminars, lectures, field trips, and other activities.

  • Train future Master Gardeners.

Master Gardener programs exist throughout the nation and are typically associated with a state university. Our program originated at the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Massachusetts. In 1989, due to funding limitations, the program was discontinued at UMass. We have been operating independently since then, thanks to a very dedicated group of program graduates. 

 
Our members have successfully completed an academic training program followed by intern service hours working with the public to advance our mission. After this training, we continue to participate in volunteer activities throughout Western Massachusetts. Our organization is divided into three sub-regions: Berkshire County, Upper Valley, and Lower Valley, which organize our activities and volunteer efforts there, for all of our participation.
 
 

Computer experience is necessary, since class materials will be on the WMMGA website, along with weekly homework assignments and study aids. There is a final exam.

Fisher Home - Kerry        

Training begins in January, consists of 32 classes (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) for 16 weeks. Classes are held on Tuesdays at the Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center, with the following exceptions: an orientation meeting held at Wistariahurst, two days of classes held at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and one field day learning to prune fruit trees.

 
Northampton Community Garden  

Once the training and exam are completed, trainees are required to participate in 60 intern hours assisting Master Gardeners at public education events, such as our WMMGA tables at summer farmers markets; spring events, such as the Springfield Earth Day celebration; and the Big E and Franklin County fairs in September; and our telephone and email hotlines working with a master gardener to answer questions from the public.

 

Interns complete community service hours at our approved locations, such as Wistariahurst, the Hospice at Fisher Home, Northampton Community Garden, South Hadley Community Demonstration Garden, and Grandmothers’ Garden in Westfield.

 

Attendance at all-member meetings (January and June) along with quarterly area meetings are required under the category of administration hours. Assistance at any of our three area spring symposiums is also accrued in the administration hours category.

 

There is also a continuing education requirement.

 

Individuals who complete this training, exam, and service hours are then certified as Master Gardeners.

 
Class of 2015
 

  We are no longer accepting applications for the class of 2017. Our next WMMGA training class will be held in 2019.

 
 Master Gardeners Remember Their Training Days

 Colcord & Munn
Jodi C MG
Kathleen C., MG
Kent F., MG
Sherry W MG
Joe W MG

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©2017 Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association