Green Spring Master Gardeners Program
[ 4603 Green Spring Road ] [ Alexandria, VA 22312 ] [ 703-642-5173 ]
VCE MASTER GARDENERS
HISTORY OF GREEN SPRING GARDENS MASTER GARDENERS
VCE Master Gardener programs first began in the United States in 1972 at Washington State University, where Cooperative Extension Agents trained interested volunteers to serve as a community resource for reliable horticultural information. University affiliated Master Gardener programs are now active in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In Virginia, there are 62 active Master Gardener units affiliated with Virginia Tech.
In January 2002, a VCE Master Gardener Training program was launched at Green Spring Gardens to complement and expand the outreach of the existing Fairfax County program beyond plant clinics and diagnostic labs, and to meet the increased demand for training locally. Training sessions are held during daytime hours at Green Spring Gardens Horticultural Center. Including the service commitment that follows the training, the program is designed to be completed in a year. Since 2002, over 280 volunteers have received training at Green Spring Gardens.
Want to become a Master Gardener?
In order to become a Master Gardener (MG), approved candidates must complete a 13 week course that meets Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and one Saturday lab. Included in the training course are assignments and exams. Once trainees complete the classroom portion of the training, they graduate to MG interns. MG interns are required to complete, within one year, 50 volunteer project hours including 15 hours working at the MG Help Desk in order to become fully certified. There is a $260 fee due with the application. MGs retain their certification by completing 20 hours of volunteer service hours and 8 hours of continuing education classes per year.
The Green Spring Gardens MG training program is designed to prepare interested participants to work within the community to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices.
The Green Spring VCE Master Gardener Volunteer training is held each fall beginning in September and ending in late November. The training generally requires two three-hour classes per week and one Saturday lab.
We interview all applicants and select approximately 30 trainees by the end of July. Selection criteria include the ability to commit to the training schedule with no more than three absences and adequate time and commitment to follow through on VCE approved Master Gardener volunteer projects.
If you are interested in becoming a Green Spring Master Gardener, please add your name to our waitlist. You will be contacted with more information.
The Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program is a national program of trained volunteer educators. Virginia Master Gardeners work within their local communities to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices through sustainable landscape management education and training. As an educational outreach component of Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), the Master Gardener program brings the resources of Virginia's land-grant universities – Virginia Tech and Virginia State University – to the people of the Commonwealth. The Green Spring Master Gardener Program (GSMG) is one of two MG units located in Fairfax County. It is supported by Fairfax County Park Authority and its offices are located at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria.