The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents, who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local OSU Extension county office. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must!
Working with county Extension personnel, Master Gardener Volunteers provide such educational services to their communities as: answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons; beautifying the community; and developing community or demonstration gardens.
More information email the Portage County Master Gardener Volunteers HERE or stop by during OSU Extension Office hours, the Haymakers Farmers Market, or Randolph County Fair for help with all your plant, garden, insect, and disease questions.
Below is the statewide Master Gardener Mission and Initiatives.
We are Ohio State University Extension-trained volunteers empowered to educate others with timely research-based gardening information.
- Integrated pest management (focuses on teaching and demonstrating IPM techniques in the garden and landscape)
- Invasive species (focuses on teaching our clientele about the potential damage that invasive species might cause to the environment, and managing/eradicating invasive species)
- Backyard and local foods (focuses on community gardens, local food councils/policies, urban agriculture/farms, and teaching and demonstrating how to grow vegetables)
- Environmental horticulture (focuses on a wide variety of horticulture programs including storm water management, rain gardens, good plant selection practices, demonstration gardens, and more)
HOW DID THE MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER PROGRAM ORIGINATE?
The Master Gardener Volunteer program originated in Seattle, Washington in 1972. The Extension agent in the King County office of the Washington State University Extension Service began to train and utilize the expertise of volunteers to more effectively reach the gardening public with research-based educational information. It was a great concept that has now spread across the United States, to Canada and other countries.
The Master Gardener Volunteer program in Ohio has existed since the late 1970s and has grown steadily. Although its initial start and growth was in the more urban counties of our state, there are now more than 3,000 active Master Gardener Volunteers in more than 62 Ohio counties (urban, suburban and rural).
HOW DO I KNOW IF I WOULD MAKE A GOOD MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER?
You could qualify to be an Ohio Master Gardener Volunteer if:
- You want to learn more about plants and gardening.
- You are eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program.
- You enjoy sharing your knowledge with others.
- You have the time to attend training and serve your community as a volunteer educator.
Do you have lingering garden questions?
Our Master Gardeners want to help you answer your questions. Even though are Master Gardeners are not in the office they would still like to help you virtually. If you have a question you have these options.
- You can call our office and we can relay the message to our MG’s
- You can simply fill out the online form at go.osu.edu/pchelpline.
- You can bring in a sample to our office as long as you schedule an appointment.
If you need further assistance you can email the Portage County ANR Extension Educator at