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Become an Extension Master Gardener in Itasca County

Master gardeners are unique people who take an active interest in gardening, are willing to learn and enjoy helping others. The University of Minnesota Extension Service provides this training in exchange for volunteer hours. Master gardeners work with local County Extension Offices to provide valued research based horticultural information to their communities.

There will be Master Gardener Core Course training offered during the winter of 2020 at the St. Paul Campus as well as Online Training over the Internet. Participants must fill out an application. An online application can be filled out here. Once the application is approved, applicants will then register to participate at one of the training sites or the online site.

Individuals selected for the program begin an internship that starts with the Master Gardener core course training in January. The course is taught online or in-person at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Instructors are University of Minnesota Extension educators and faculty. The course covers best management practices of lawn care; trees and shrubs; pest and weed control; soil science: botany; plant nutrition; fruits and vegetables; flowers and other horticulture subjects.

Following the course, interns will complete 50 hours of volunteer service in the first year, working with local Master Gardener volunteers on a variety of projects that educate the public about gardening and horticulture. You might answer plant questions by phone or at a Plant Pest Clinic, write a newspaper column, or make a presentation to a community group.

After completing the internship, you become a certified University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener. To remain certified, Master Gardeners must contribute at least 25 hours of volunteer service annually.

For more information email Marge Kelley, Itasca County Master Gardener Coordinator, at or check out the Master Gardener page on the University of Minnesota Extension website here.