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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Master Gardeners make a difference in your community

Man examining green plant in cardboard box on a table in a large room with other people.

Master Gardener volunteers are helping their neighbors understand and use research-based information and practices that can improve their quality of life while minimizing negative impacts on the environment and natural resources.

Master Gardeners strive to make scientific knowledge understandable to all. They inspire and encourage lifelong learning through continued scientific exploration and discovery.

2019 by the numbers

  • 2,408 certified Master Gardener volunteers across the state
  • Contributed 143,821 volunteer hours
  • Reached 195,124 Minnesota residents

Read the 2019 Annual Report.

Because of the work of Master Gardeners, more people are growing food locally, planting pollinator-friendly gardens, and creating resilient landscapes that help manage storm water runoff.

Now more than ever before Master Gardener volunteers are connecting with people to share University research-based knowledge on priorities that are important to Minnesota residents: horticulture skills, plant biodiversity, pollinators, clean water, local food, climate change and nearby nature.

See a story map of how and where Master Gardeners are working in communities like yours.

Expanding outreach and promoting volunteer work of great public value

Master Gardener volunteers use community-engagement toolkits that are developed around the program’s priorities to deliver education to communities across the state.

Educational materials covering the topics Water Wisely, Flowers for Pollinators and Vegetables for Everyone are growing awareness of critical issues to many towns and cities in Minnesota.

Regional gatherings offer specialized training

Each year the State Leadership Team and the State Advisory Board hold regional educational gatherings across Minnesota. Master Gardeners in all areas of the state can connect with program leadership and other volunteers, offer feedback about the program, network with other county programs, and receive specialized training.

We have offered specialized training around program priorities in places like Andover, Brainerd, Cloquet, Crookston, Grand Rapids, Luverne, Monticello, Proctor, Red Wing, Spicer, Waseca and Willmar.

In this way, our program can continuously improve and provide relevant resources to address regional concerns. We continue to develop and offer specialized training each year.

Extension Master Gardeners are continually learning

Each year, the State Leadership Team and a conference planning committee comprised of Master Gardener volunteers coordinate and host an educational event for program members with empowering speakers that enhance everyone's horticulture knowledge.

During the conference, Master Gardener volunteers attend exclusive workshops, network with peer volunteers, and explore ways to inspire and engage people in their communities in sustaining a healthy planet, through healthy plants for healthy people.

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