About the Master Gardener volunteer program

We are your neighbors

The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteer program started in 1977 with its first class of 25 people. Since then it has grown to include more than 2,300 active master gardeners who share U of M horticultural expertise in almost every county of the state of Minnesota.

The mission of the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is to use research-based horticultural knowledge and practices to deliver educational outreach and project-based efforts that inspire change and promote healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet.

What guides our work

We are connected to the University of Minnesota, and use evidence-based research and best practices to inform our community engagement efforts, educational outreach, and horticultural expertise. We strive to make scientific knowledge understandable and accessible to all and inspire and encourage lifelong learning through continued scientific exploration and discovery.

We are connected to people, and committed to learning, becoming leaders in our communities, and contributing to improving lives. We collaborate and work across geographical and organizational boundaries to create viable and vibrant results.

We are connected to our communities, and their needs drive the work of our program. We are empowered to create change in our communities through educational engagement in alignment with our program priorities.

We are connected to our earth, and strive for stewardship and sustainability through horticultural best practices and a conscientious approach to volunteer work in alignment with our program priorities. We aim to improve not only the lives of the people within our communities, but also the land which sustains us.

Through all, we strive to be accessible and welcoming to all, regardless of what separates us.

Our priorities inform our work

graphic chart listing the seven priorities of the master gardener program that are described in the following text inside the drawer titled "Program priorities"
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