Becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer

Master Gardener Volunteers are members of the local community who are trained by University of Wisconsin Specialists in different aspects of plant science. In exchange for instruction, persons who become Master Gardener Volunteers spend some time as volunteers working with the staff of the local County Extension Offices in their respective counties to extend information to their community about horticulture.  Volunteers are supervised and guided by local Extension advisers.

To become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer, any resident of Wisconsin 18 years or older is eligible to become a Master Gardener Volunteer.  Participants must attend 36 hours of instruction, fulfill a commitment to volunteer at least 24 hours of service to their community, and score a satisfactory grade on a final examination on the material covered. The exam is a take‑home, open‑book exam.

Potential Master Gardner Volunteers should be interested in horticulture, dependable, unbiased and open-minded, and willing to help people with their horticultural concerns.  Possible activities for volunteers are to assist in diagnosing plant problems, assist 4-H Clubs and other youth groups seeking information about plants, provide gardening talks to community organizations, assist in writing newsletters, assist in future Master Gardener Volunteer programs, assist in answering horticultural inquiries, or assist your local Extension Educator at various community events.

To maintain Master Gardener Volunteer status, 10 hours of certified educational activity and 24 hours of donated time are required per year. The Chippewa Valley Master Gardeners have a monthly meeting the second Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at the Chippewa County Courthouse.  The purpose of these meetings is to discuss Master Gardener Volunteer business (community projects, volunteer opportunities, etc.) and to provide continued Master Gardener Volunteer training.  We generally have a guest speaker or garden tour.  As a certified Master Gardener Volunteer, we hope that you will join us at our monthly meetings.

Cost for the program is approximately $60.00 for reference materials and related expenses.  Fees for two people and one set of materials is $90.00.   You pay only for your instructional materials, which are yours to keep.

A maximum of 20 participants will be accepted for the training program. Applications are be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Since the Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a program of the University of Wisconsin, a criminal background check is required. The University of Wisconsin requires a background check of all volunteers in the University of Wisconsin System.  You will receive information via email from General Information Systems (GIS) regarding the background check prior to the start of the program.

Master Gardner training is offered through the local County Extension Office.  You do NOT need to reside in a county to participate in their program, simply fill out the application form and return it to the specific Extension Office noted on the registration brochure.  For more information on the Chippewa Valley Master Gardener Program contact the Chippewa County Extension Office at 715-726-7950, Ext. 5.  The next training session will begin on March 28, 2020.  Pre-registration and payment is required.  Click here for additional training session information.