Green Spring Gardens

CONTACT INFORMATION: Gate locked at 5 p.m.
703-642-5173 TTY 711
4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, Virginia
Judy Zatsick

Department Resources

Extension Master Gardener Program

Join a vibrant community of expert gardeners who teach others unbiased best gardening practices and encourage everyone to to become stewards of Fairfax County's natural resources. 

A large group of people sitting in an auditorium

Who can become a Certified Master Gardener?

Investment in Extension Master Gardeners (EMGs) brings many rewards. 

  • Three ladies looking at a garden full of blooming flowersJoin One of the Largest and Most Respected Gardening Groups in the USA – Across the country, more than 90,000 EMGs annually provide more than five million hours of volunteer service to their communities. The American Horticultural Society says EMGs offer “some of the best, regionally specific advice you can get on home gardening.” Only 30 slots are available each year. Join Green Spring Extension Master Gardeners now.
  • Make a Difference – You’ve accumulated a lifetime of practical experience. Share it with others and give back to your community. As Extension Master Gardeners, we create IMPACT that ripples across the county and beyond. Whatever your interests – gardening, creating displays, photography, video, writing, editing, or speaking -- make a difference. Make meaningful contributions to Master Gardner programs, events, and resources.  
  • Leadership Opportunities – Green Spring Master Gardeners have more than 20 impactful teams that support our operations, each with a team lead or leads. This is one place that you won’t hear, “But we’ve always done it this way.”  New ideas are welcome. You’re encouraged to step up and lead us in new directions. 
  • Live your Ecology Truth – If you want to change the world, the best place to start is in your own back yard. Join us and learn to live an EcoSavvy gardening life. As an EMG, you’ll be a part of healthy green practices spreading next door, across the county, the state and the country. 
  • Networking – Want to find like-minded people who enjoy getting their hands in the dirt? This is the place. You’ll meet gardeners across Fairfax County, with opportunities to meet others at the state and national levels. You’ll meet scores of folks who want to talk to you as an Extension Master Gardener. 
  • Education – EMG classes and curriculum will show you how to live green. Scientific principles from Virginia’s Cooperative Extension programs at Virginia Tech and Virginia State University form the basis of all you’ll learn. You can trust that you’re receiving horticultural information that is relevant and up to date.
  • Save More – You’ll save the earth practicing EcoSavvy principles. But wait, there’s more! You’ll also receive discounts from local gardening shops and nurseries. 


Green Spring Extension Master Gardeners are recognized gardening resources who provide locally relevant, research-based horticultural information to others.  If you join us, prepare to: 

  • One weekday evening virtual class and one weekday afternoon in-person class per week for 15 weeks.
  • Read and study the Extension Master Gardener Handbook
  • Miss no more than two sessions. Make up missed sessions online or by attending alternate classes.
  • Share what you know with your local community.
  • Intern for up to two years, performing volunteer service in approved Master Gardener volunteer activities.
  • As a certified Extension Master Gardener, serve 20 hours volunteering per year and obtain eight hours of continuing education in approved horticultural training classes. (Four hours may be online).
  • Recertify annually, approximately $25.
  • Display your GSMG certification badge responsibly for non-commercial purposes only. 


Extension Master Gardener certification is NOT:

  • A garden club 
  • Training for commercial landscape employees
  • An alternative to a university horticulture degree
  • Used for display on your business card or in business publications


A new class for Extension Master Gardener training starts each fall. An information session is held each April. If you sign up by May 31, you will be provided an application for fall training. After May 31 your name will be added to the list for training the following fall.

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