Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who aid the UW-Madison Division of Extension staff by helping people in their community better understand horticulture and their environment. The national program was introduced in Wisconsin in 1977. Today, the Master Gardener program is in 50 states and several countries.
Master Gardeners receive horticulture training from Extension specialists and faculty and local experts. In return for their training, Master Gardeners volunteer in Extension educational programs and horticulture projects which enhance the community.
It is this acquisition of knowledge, the skill in gardening, and giving back to the community that distinguishes UW-Extension Master Gardeners from other gardeners.
Any adult (18 years or older) can participate in the Master Gardener program—no previous experience or training is necessary, although many people do have horticulture or gardening experience.