Busy with clean up at the Suffolk County Farm display gardens.

Busy with clean up at the Suffolk County Farm display gardens.

Barbara Renner tabling at Brookhaven Garden Show.

Barbara Renner tabling at Brookhaven Garden Show.

Municipal Beautification

Municipal Beautification

Suffolk County Master Gardener Volunteer Program

What is a Master Gardener Volunteer?

Master Gardener Volunteers are neighbors teaching neighbors about horticultural topics and environmentally sound gardening practices, providing the public with educational programs and activities that draw on the horticultural research and experience of Cornell University. Master Gardener Volunteers receive research-based instruction and are kept up-to-date through advanced trainings and workshops. In return, they agree to share their knowledge with neighbors though community service. After completing the training course and volunteering for 125 hours, they become certified as CCE Suffolk Master Gardener Volunteers.

Suffolk County’s Master Gardener Volunteer Program, along with similar programs in other counties in New York State is directly linked to Cornell University as part of its National Land-Grant College charter. This valued connection to Cornell provides Master Gardener Volunteers with state-of-the-art gardening knowledge and resources.

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How do Master Gardener Volunteers Contribute to the Community?

Master Gardener Volunteers . . .

  • Teach gardening to children, adults, educators and community groups
  • Organize and teach at the annual Spring Gardening School
  • Offer gardening classes through our Speakers Bureau at public libraries, schools, and interested groups
  • Provide gardening information at community events throughout Suffolk County
  • Participate in programs for youth, senior citizens, and people benefiting from Horticultural Therapy
  • Teach garden-based learning through school visits, Jr. Master Gardener programs, and the Summer Children’s Gardening Program
  • Cultivate and teach classes at the Children’s Garden and Herb Garden at the Suffolk County Farm
  • Provide guidance and expertise for community beautification projects, demonstration gardens, school and community gardens
  • Instruct people on gardening, landscaping, sustainable gardening practices, attracting pollinators, growing fruits and vegetables, and much more

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Who Can Be a Master Gardener Volunteer?

We welcome adults of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to the Master Gardener Volunteer program. Anyone who enjoys gardening, has a desire to share knowledge and skills, and who is willing to provide community service are encouraged to apply. To become a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer, one must successfully graduate from the course, volunteer 125 hours within a 2 year period, and remain active by volunteering at least 30 hours each year after certification.

Being a Master Gardener Volunteer is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. The commitment and dedication of our volunteers help county residents to understand best gardening practices, and contribute to making Suffolk County a more beautiful and greener place to live.

DOWNLOAD THE MASTER GARDENER BROCHURE HERE

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When Can I Apply to be a Master Gardener Volunteer?

New this year! The next training course for new Master Gardener Volunteers will be a ‘hybrid’ (virtual and in-person) training, beginning September 2018 and ending March 2019. Training will be offered through an interactive, asynchronous online course, as well as through hands-on learning during in-person meetings one Saturday each month. Saturday classes will be held at our Extension Education Center at CCE Suffolk, 423 Griffing Avenue in Riverhead and other county locations TBD. The cost of the course is $375 with an additional $125 deposit. The deposit is refunded upon completion of 125 hours of volunteer service. Deadline to apply is August 1, 2018 with interviews scheduled in August.

You can find the application for the Master Gardener Volunteer program HERE. Prospective students who are accepted into the course will be notified in late August. Questions? Contact Donna Alese Cooke
at dmc72@cornell.edu or at 631-727-7850 x225.


For more information on becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer, or to request a speaker or a Master Gardener Volunteer for your project, please contact:

Contact

Donna Alese Cooke
Community Horticulture Specialist
dmc72@cornell.edu
631-727-7850 x 225

Last updated August 6, 2018