Congratulations on joining the OSU Extension Master Gardener program! We look forward to having you become a part of the Extension community! The purpose of this page is to provide answers to frequently asked questions and serve as a reference during your first year in the program. Please explore other pages on the website for volunteer opportunities and general references on the Master Gardener program. Enjoy your Master Gardener Journey!
Staying in Touch and Getting Help
Have questions or need a hand?
- If your county has volunteer mentors, reach out to them.
- Email program staff: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Schedule an informal chat – with program staff, by Zoom or phone, or by prior arrangement in person.
Volunteering and Graduation Checklist
Complete these learning experiences by June 13*:
- Watch the required online lectures and read chapter(s) by the date listed in the schedule
- Participate in all discussion forums
- Pass all online quizzes (score >70%)
- Attend 12 Garden Labs (including make-ups and alternate assignments)
Complete these 45 volunteer hours by October 31* and log in the Volunteer Reporting System:
- At least 25 hours researching and responding to garden questions in the Online Plant Clinic (flexible schedule), at the Master Gardener Help Desk in the Extension office (weekdays during business hours), or at Community Plant Clinics at farmers markets and garden centers (the schedule varies).
- Up to 20 hours divided between at least two other approved Master Gardener projects. Opportunities and schedules vary depending on the county and can include working in demonstration gardens, raising plants or mason bee cocoons for fundraisers, supporting online and in-person events, creating educational media, teaching or supporting gardening workshops for community members, and volunteering in school gardens, and more.
To get connected with volunteer opportunities, check out volunteer email newsletters coming to your inbox. Make sure email@example.com is added to your safe sender list. Thanks!
Volunteer service policy
This is a volunteer program where participants provide needed support to the community. If participants are unable to complete 45 hours of volunteer service to the community by October 31, 2022, they agree to pay an additional $300.00 and earn a Certificate of Home Horticulture, the non-volunteer version of the Master Gardener course.
*For extenuating circumstances with work, health, or family, an extended volunteer service plan may be available by special arrangement. Questions or concerns about completing your service? Please contact your program staff.
Membership in county Master Gardener Associations
The Oregon Master Gardener Association (OMGA), a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was formed in 1982 to enhance and support the activities of Oregon’s Extension Master Gardener Program. OMGA and its county chapter associations enhance and support the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program by assisting in the continuing education of Master Gardeners, providing educational programs to members at monthly meetings, and organizing other education events such as educational symposia, garden tours, and nursery visits. OMGA chapters also serve as a social center for Master Gardeners, and as a clearinghouse for projects and planning of OSU-sanctioned educational outreach programs.
During your first year as a Master Gardener trainee, you are given free membership into OMGA and your local chapter. After that, you must pay dues to remain a member. Joining OMGA and your local chapter is not required to be an OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteer. However, joining OMGA, and your local OMGA chapter is one way to support the efforts of your local Master Gardener program, and to stay better connected to the Master Gardener events and activities in your area. (adapted from An Introduction to Being A Master Gardener)