Become A Master Gardener

The 2016 fall Master Gardener Training Class is now FULL. Below is information on this year’s upcoming class. We will post information on the 2017 class in the spring of 2017.

The training program will be on Tuesdays, from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, September 6 through November 15  (with one exception, Sat. Nov 5, 9 am-3:30 pm in lieu of class on Election Day, Nov. 8).  Classes are held at the Fairlington Community Center, 3308 South Stafford St., Arlington, VA  22206, unless otherwise noted.

Offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), Arlington County Office, in partnership with the City of Alexandria, the VCE Master Gardener program trains participants in best management practices of gardening and landscaping techniques that preserve and sustain the environment.

Residents who want to improve their gardening skills, enhance their knowledge and most importantly share what they have learned with others through volunteer work should fill out both the VCE MG 2016 Volunteer Application/Enrollment Form and the Master Gardener Training Brochure/ Registration Form .   The brochure also contains more information about the training program

Interviews will be scheduled after applications are received in the office.  Although there is no application deadline, acceptance into the program is typically determined by mid-August.

Residents of Alexandria City and Arlington County will receive preference, but others in the Washington area may also enroll on a space-available basis. Tuition covers the cost of study materials and instructor fees. Limited need-based scholarships are available to cover some of the tuition costs. A separate application is required for consideration for a scholarship.

After about 70 hours of classroom training, VCE Master Gardener trainees must complete a 60-hour internship focusing on community service in educational, VCE-approved, gardening activities within one year. The internship is to be completed within Arlington County and the City of Alexandria.  Once the classroom program, internship and a student project are completed, participants become certified VCE Master Gardeners.

Newly certified VCE Master Gardeners assist VCE staff in teaching environmentally sound gardening techniques in their communities through plant clinics, a horticultural help desk, demonstration gardens and other outreach projects. To maintain certification, VCE Master Gardeners must volunteer a minimum of 20 hours in VCE-approved activities and attend eight hours of continuing education programs every year. VCE sponsors monthly continuing education programs to help Master Gardeners maintain certification.

For more information about training or becoming a Master Gardener, please contact the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Horticulture Help Desk at 703-228-6414 or email mgarlalex@gmail.com; the Master Gardener Coordinator Paula Kaufman by email at paulak1@vt.edu or call 703-228-6426; or visit us at 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington VA 22206.