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Become a Master Gardener

Do you to love to garden? Do you enjoy sharing your gardening knowledge with others? Then consider joining the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City (MGGKC), volunteers dedicated to helping others learn to grow.

The University of Missouri Extension in Jackson County holds one in-person training class each year. This year, Fall 2019 training involves 8 weeks of intensive training, August to October. A normal class is between 30-40 individuals.

Applications to become a Master Gardener are available at the Jackson County Extension Office in Blue Springs, MO at (816) 252-5051 or may be printed online HERE . Applications should be completed and returned to the Jackson County Extension Office by mid-June for the class. A non-refundable $10.00 application fee, payable to University of Missouri Extension, must accompany the application. It is recommended that the applicant review the information on the Master Gardener website to learn more about the program and the available volunteer opportunities. All applicants must be a minimum of 16 years old.

Master Gardeners and an Extension horticulture staff person will hold information sessions in which potential applicants can ask questions, learn about requirements, and pay for training.  Attendance at one of the information sessions is required of applicants. Guidelines for participation in the program include a broad interest in horticulture, a commitment to volunteering, and the time available to volunteer. While this chapter of Master Gardeners is active in Clay, Jackson, and Platte Counties, we accept metro-area applicants from Kansas. The applicant will be notified if they are accepted into the Master Gardener program by early July. All applicants will be invited to a Master Gardener Meet and Greet to meet their fellow trainees, meet experienced Master Gardeners, get acquainted with the University of Missouri Extension Faculty and the MGGKC organization.

Classroom training will begin in mid-August. This year 2019 Master Gardener Training classes will be held on Saturdays from August thru October. This intensive training will be conducted by MU Extension Specialists or local horticulture experts. It will cover a broad range of horticultural topics. Three take-home tests will be given and a research project presented in the form of an oral presentation, a research-based written report, or a group project must be completed prior to graduation.

Attendance at all classes is essential. Absences will be handled on an individual basis. If more than four classes are missed, the trainee will not be able to graduate from the Master Gardener Program and will need to reapply the following year.

A fee of $175 must be paid after acceptance into the program and prior to the start of class. This fee will cover Master Gardener state registration, Missouri Master Gardener Core Manual, handouts, name badge, and other supplies. A limited number of scholarships are available. Please review the application for more information.

To become a certified Master Gardener, a minimum of 45 volunteer hours must be completed prior to the end of the next year.

If there are further questions about the Application/Training process, contact Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Educator, at the Jackson County Extension Office in Blue Springs at (816) 252-5051.


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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program