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

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Virginia Cooperative Extension Green Spring Master Gardener Program How We Grow

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VCE (Virginia Cooperative Extension) Master Gardener programs 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. 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. The program meets 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, more than 280 volunteers have been trained at Green Spring Gardens.


VCE Master Gardeners volunteer at:
  • Green Spring Gardens 
  • Fairfax County Schools
  • Fairfax County Libraries
Master Gardeners sow community seeds through: 
  • Adult educational seminars, including an annual EcoSavvy Symposium
  • Ready, Set, GrowTM gardening curriculum for elementary students
  • Speakers Bureau presentations on sustainable gardening practices
  • Support of the VCE Advice Help Line at 703-324-5369 or
  • Staff information booths
  • Care of the Demonstration Gardens at Green Spring Gardens
Virginia Cooperative Extension Publications are Virginia Tech's website.

VCE Master Gardener Help Desks

At Green Spring Gardens
April – October
Saturdays 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

At Pennino Building
12011 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035
April – October
     Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - Noon
November – March
     Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-Noon
Walk-ins welcome

Want to become a Master Gardener?

To become an Extension Master Gardener (EMG), approved candidates must complete a 13-week course. Classes meet Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 12:45 to 4:15 p.m. plus one Saturday lab. There are assignments and quizzes. Once trainees complete the classroom portion of the training, they graduate to EMG interns. EMG interns are required to complete, within one year, 50 volunteer project hours, including 12 hours working at the EMG Help Desk at the Pennino Building, Fairfax and 2 sessions at the Green Spring Gardens Help Desk, in order to become fully certified. There is a $260 fee due with the application. EMGs retain their certification by completing 20 hours of volunteer service hours and eight hours of continuing education classes per year.

The Green Spring Gardens EMG training program prepares participants to work in the community and to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices.

Next Step to Become at Master Gardener
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.
Master Gardeners 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 deadline to apply for the 2019 Master Gardener training program at Green Spring Gardens has passed. We are now accepting names for the fall of 2020 training class.
Fairfax Virtual Assistant