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Master Gardener volunteer staffing the Growline desk

Master Gardener volunteers
Image by MP Filippi

Master Gardener volunteers touring St. Lawrence Nurseries

Master Gardener Volunteers

The Master Gardener Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension offices to extend gardening information to the local community.

What do Master Gardeners do in New York State?

Cornell Cooperative Extension prepares MGVs to be peer educators who utilize local experience and research-based knowledge to empower community members to manage gardens, lawns, and landscapes with an emphasis on food security and environmental stewardship.

Over 1,500 MGVs in New York State contribute educational services to meet the outreach mission of Cornell, influencing many thousands of consumers on horticultural issues.

Projects and functions carried out by MGVs are based on the educational priorities of individual counties.  Some of the ways in which MGVs have been involved in St. Lawrence County are:

  • Answering horticultural inquiries by phone and email
  • Writing articles about gardening
  • Restoring Historic Gardens
  • Teaching classes to community members of all ages
  • Setting up demonstration projects in public places
  • Tabling at local events, including farmers' markets
  • Beautifying community landscapes

How does one become a MGV?

Each MGV takes a ten-week course (one day per week), organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension, which gives a basic understanding of horticulture topics as well as knowledge of where to find reliable horticultural information. Throughout their training and beyond, MGVs utilize the Garden-Based Learning Library, as well as other Cornell resources to learn about plant biology, soils science, vegetable and fruit culture, trees and shrubs, lawns, diseases, insects, and more. Interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer in St. Lawrence County? Contact


Erica LaFountain
Consumer Horticulture Educator
315-379-9192 ext. 240

Last updated September 4, 2020