• By Anika Parks
  • Posted Monday, July 1, 2024

Now Accepting Applications for the Master Gardener Volunteer Program

N.C. Cooperative Extension, Forsyth County Center, is now accepting applications for the 2024 Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Initial Training Class. Please read this article to the end for all the details!

NC State Extension Master Gardener? (EMG) volunteers are integral to Extension’s horticulture programs in Forsyth County. EMG volunteers are trained to be educators and share their knowledge of gardening with other community members. You do not need to be an expert at the beginning of the training course, but you must be willing to learn and volunteer your time and energy! The training will strengthen your skills and knowledge of horticulture, as well as prepare you to teach others. Volunteer opportunities within the program include presenting programs to adults and youth, organizing educational events for the community, representing Extension and sharing information at public events, assisting with maintenance at Extension’s gardens, and more.

Interested? Here are more details about the volunteer training:

The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is just that - a volunteer program! The training is designed to prepare volunteers to help educate the public about horticulture. The class will cover information about gardening and landscaping, as well as topics on volunteerism. Before becoming a certified Extension Master Gardener volunteer, you must also complete a volunteer internship (more details below).

  • There is a fee of $150 to participate in the training course. This fee covers a textbook, all class supplies, a volunteer name tag, and your state fee for being a member of the EMGV program. A limited number of scholarships are available for those who need them. Please indicate your interest in your application, and you will receive a separate scholarship application.
  • The initial training course will include 40 hours of instruction on horticultural topics, as well as training to prepare you to volunteer in our programs.
  • The training class will be held in person over the course of several months. In addition, opportunities will be available to participate in volunteer activities along with your classmates.
  • The initial training class will be held on Tuesday afternoons from 2 PM to 5 PM, beginning in October 2024. We anticipate the final class and graduation will be held in March 2025, with breaks in between for holidays. Participants should plan to be present each week; a small number of absences will be excused, and make-up options will be available as applicable. However, we encourage you to attend as many live sessions as possible in order to get the most out of the training.
  • A more detailed schedule will be distributed at the start of the course.
  • All students in initial training are required to complete a volunteer internship as well.
  • The volunteer internship must be completed within 1 year. The internship includes 40 hours of volunteering in Extension’s horticulture programs within Forsyth County. The volunteer internship cannot be completed in other counties or by volunteering for other organizations.

    All applicants must participate in an interview prior to being accepted into the program. Interviews will be held on Zoom during the months of August and early September. Apply for the program using the application below by Friday, August 2. After you have submitted an application, you must schedule and participate in a short Zoom interview in August or early September. All accepted applicants will be notified in September.

    We are holding three information sessions in July for anyone interested in applying. You are not required to attend a session in order to apply, but it will give you an opportunity to learn about the program and ask questions. Visit our Eventbrite page for details on those information sessions.

    If you have questions about the NC State Extension Master Gardener volunteer program or how to apply, please contact Leslie Rose, Horticulture Agent (leslie_rose@ncsu.edu or 336-703-2868) or Anika Parks, Volunteer Coordinator aparks3@ncsu.edu or 336-703-2848).

    Click here to view the volunteer application .

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