The Master Gardener program is an all-volunteer organization sanctioned by Land Grant Institutions in each state and functions as an extension of the college or university. In Wisconsin, the program is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Extension. Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who aid University of Wisconsin-Extension staff by helping people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment.
The seed for the Master Gardener (MG) program was planted in 1972 by Washington State cooperative Extension. MG volunteers were trained to extend Extension’s outreach to community residents in educating people about horticulture. The MG program begin in the late 1970’s. Local MG groups banded together in 1992 to form the Wisconsin Master Gardener Association (WIMGA).
The goal of the Master Gardener program is to train enthusiastic volunteers so they can, in turn, provide research-based information on a wide variety of horticulture topics to the general public in their communities.