Master Gardener Program
What is the Master Gardener Program?
In Duval County, the Master Gardener Program began in 1983. Volunteers in this program have a sincere desire to help others, a desire to learn and a personal commitment to volunteer service.
Duval County Master Gardener Program Volunteers
There are over 150 Master Gardener Volunteers in Duval County. They share their gardening experience and knowledge by volunteering to answer questions called in to the Extension Office, assist with Junior Master Gardener Program at several local schools, plant and maintain demonstration and community gardens, conduct plant clinics at local nurseries, test soil pH, write gardening articles for local newspapers, help clients at the Jacksonville Canning Center, plants and maintain Extension demonstration gardens, and speak to local groups about gardening topics.
Training never ceases for the active Master Gardener. Quarterly training meetings give them the opportunity to gain additional gardening information of a timely nature. There is an annual tour of a horticultural business or site of interest. Once a year, advanced Master Gardener training is offered at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
How to become a Master Gardener Volunteer
Request an application in May to early June, fill it out and return. Applications will be mailed out in June for the fall class. All applicants will participate in a brief interview at the Extension Office as the number of applicants exceed available class size. A ten week Master Gardening course starts in August of each year which offers the basics for being a Master Gardener.
Selection to become a candidate for the Master Gardener Program is not based on prior training, education, knowledge or experience. All that is required is a sincere desire to help others, a desire to learn and a personal commitment to volunteer 75 hours of volunteer service the first year. Master Gardeners that remain in the program are required to volunteer 35 hours each year to maintain active status and acquire 10 hours of advanced training per year.
For more information or to request an application, contact Terry DelValle at (904) 255-7450 or email.