Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program

— Written By Nancy Olsen and last updated by
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Extension Master Gardener volunteers of Bladen County

Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others. What sets these volunteers apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture and their willingness to educate others. In exchange for their training, Master Gardener volunteers contribute time as volunteers, work through their N.C. Cooperative Extension Center to provide horticulture-related information to the public.


Once you successfully complete the training program and pass the open book final exam, you will begin a volunteer internship. During your internship, you will learn even more about plants and people. Master Gardener volunteerss function as resource individuals for horticultural questions that come into their local Extension center.

Volunteer Training

If accepted into the Extension Master Gardener program you will attend a training course. Classes are taught by Extension staff and local experts. The program offers a minimum of 40 hours of instruction in horticulture topics including lawns; ornamental trees and shrubs; insect, disease, and weed management; soils and plant nutrition; vegetable gardening; home fruit production; garden flowers; and water conservation. You will receive a North Carolina Master Gardener training manual — full of comprehensive horticultural subjects. It will be a valuable tool in answering homeowners’ plant questions.

Examples of volunteer service include:

  • diagnose plant, insect, and disease problems
  • staff plant clinics and educational exhibits
  • design a demonstration or community garden
  • lecture on various gardening topics
  • bring the joy of gardening to citizens and young children

N.C. Cooperative Extension of Bladen County will offer Master Gardener training beginning February 2017. The training will be held beginning February Tuesday 21, 2017 and ending on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The classes will meet every Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The cost of the class is $125. Payment is not accepted until the applicant is accepted into the class. All applicants will be phone interviewed.

Applications are due by Tuesday, February 7th, 2017.

How Do I Become a Master Gardener volunteer?

Send a completed application to:

Nancy Olsen
N.C. Cooperative Extension
PO Box 249, 450 Smith Circle
Elizabethtown, NC 28377

The deadline to send in your application is February 7, 2017. If you need further information please call the office at (910) 862-4591. Or stop by and see us! Our office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Is This Program Right For Me?

Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants? Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program? Am I willing to take an exam at the end of the class? Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community? Do I have enough time to attend all training classes and to serve as a volunteer? Can I volunteer on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. and some weekends? If you answer all these questions yes, then you are a prime candidate.

Certified Extension Master Gardener volunteerss & trainees:

General Information:

  • Extension Master Gardener volunteer program
  1. History of the Extension Master Gardener program!
  2. About the NC Extension Master Gardener program!
  3. Becoming an Extension Master Gardener volunteer!
  4. Responsibilities of an EMGV

Social Media and Extension Master Gardeners:

Extension Gardener™ is a statewide horticultural program that provides timely, research-based horticultural information. It helps North Carolinians:

  • Increase their gardening knowledge
  • Manage their landscapes
  • Sustain the environment

Extension Gardener Newsletter for Coastal Plains/Sandhills – Facebook

Extension Gardener Blog – NC Coastal Plains/Sandhills Edition – Here you will find information written by County Extension Agents in North Carolina that we hope will help you be more successful gardeners in the eastern region of our state.

NC Extension Master Gardeners – Facebook Page

NC Extension Master Gardener Volunteer – Public Site – do you:

  • Need Gardening Help?
  • Want to Support the Master Gardening Program?
  • Want to Become a Master Gardener Volunteer?
  • Want to Check out what Master Gardener events are going on in your county?