Master Gardener logo, 800x400 in yellow & green

Master Gardener volunteers help extend gardening knowledge into the community.

Master Gardeners working at the Jefferson County Historical Society.

Master Gardener volunteers at work.

Master Gardeners

The Master Gardener Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension offices to extend gardening information to the local community. Over 1,500 volunteer Master Gardeners in New York State contribute educational services to meet the outreach mission of Cornell, influencing many thousands of consumers on horticultural issues. Up to their elbows in dirt, Master Gardeners see soil as the base for germination of seeds destined to become beautiful plants, blooming in their maturity. So in turn Master Gardeners have cultivated their involvement in the community with hope of creating an ideal growing medium for Yates County youth.

What do Master Gardeners do in New York State?

Projects and functions carried out by Master Gardeners are based on the educational priorities of individual counties, differing from county to county. Some of the ways in which Master Gardeners have been involved in New York State are:

  • Answering horticultural inquiries on the phone
  • Writing articles about gardening
  • Setting up demonstration projects in public places
  • School gardens
  • Community improvement projects
  • Historic garden restoration
  • Horticultural therapy
  • Organizing plant sales
  • Organizing public events
  • County fair informational booths
  • Providing advice at garden centers

Each Master Gardener takes a ten-week course (one day per week) from the Cornell Cooperative Extension which gives a basic understanding of horticulture and knowledge of where to find horticultural information utilizing the Extension’ own library, Cornell resources, and the web. Course topics include plant nutrition, soils, vegetable, fruit culture, trees, shrubs, lawns, diseases and insects that affect plants, pruning and more.

For more information on becoming Yates County Master Gardener, contact CCE-Yates County at (315) 536-5123. Or, click here to download an informational brochure!

Last updated May 15, 2020