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HOW TO BECOME A MASTER GARDENER
 
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Class of 2011 - Installation Dinner

Class of 2016 - Graduation Lunch (more pictures below)

Information on this page is for the Class of 2019.
Applications are due by 5:00 p.m., on July 10, 2019

Click below to be added to our email list for notification of future classes

Next Class Info - Sign Up

Master Gardener Volunteer Basic Training
The process of becoming a Master Gardener begins with gathering information and attending training classes. All potential volunteers will: (1) complete an application and return it to the county Extension office; (2) complete an interview; (3) submit to a criminal history fingerprint record check.

Attend an "Info Session"
At least two information sessions are held prior to the application deadline for Cuyahoga County residents. Locations vary, but are usually on opposite sides of the county, East, West or South. You can choose the location that is most convenient to you. The specific dates, times and locations will be posted on this website, or call the OSU Extension office at (216) 429-8200 for the specific details.

At these sessions there will be the opportunity to meet with Ohio State University Extension faculty and Master Gardeners for an in-depth look at the Master Gardener program. The answers to any questions you might have regarding training, volunteer opportunities, and special events will be handled. The Master Gardener volunteer description provides some of these details. Attending an Information Session is recommended, but not mandatory in order to submit an application. For an overview of the Master Gardener Volunteer Program and application process, click here.

2019 Information Sessions:

Date Day Time Location
June 13 Thurs. 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. OSU Extension Office, 12200 Fairhill Road, E Building, Cleveland, 44120
       
       
       

To be put on a mailing list to receive information about future training or Info Sessions, click on the "Next Class Info - Sign Up" box above.

Complete an Application
You may obtain a 2019 prospective Master Gardener trainee information packet, with an application, by 1) clicking a following link to download an application in .pdf format, completing an on-line application at
https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8zW1p6YW7HaJBiZ, 3) contacting the OSU Extension office, or 4) picking one up at an Information Session held before the registration deadline. Please provide all information required and return the completed application by the deadline listed on the application. In addition, one reference is required to be named on the application and the form completed by the reference is also to be received by the application deadline. The application deadline for the Class of 2019 applicants is 5:00 p.m., on July 10, 2019. Click for reference forms in printable .pdf format.

Applicant Interviews
Meet with the program's selection committee for a personal interview. Discuss your primary interests, skills and talents and ask any questions you may have about the Master Gardener Program. Applicants are chosen on a competitive basis. Interviews for the prospective Class of 2019 will be scheduled at the OSU Extension Office, 12200 Fairhill Road, E Building Cleveland, OH 44120, likely the second or third week of July (dates TBA).
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Acceptance Notification
Because enrollment in the Master Gardener Program is limited, not all applicants will be able to enter the upcoming training session. Mail notification will either indicate acceptance or encourage those who are "closed out" of the program to reapply next year. Some of the most dedicated and effective Master Gardeners did not get into the program the first time they applied. If you are not able to participate in the current year's program, do not be discouraged. Reapply for the next year. Applicants for the Class of 2019 will be notified of their status by telephone/email by the week of July 23.

Pay Course Fee and Background Check
A fee to cover training and materials is due upon acceptance into the program and must be paid prior to the first class. For the Class of 2019, the cost is $250.00. (Limited partial scholarships are available based on need, resulting in student payment of $50.00.) If accepted, the applicant will be required to have a criminal background check done immediately at his/her own cost. Results of this check must be on file in the county or state office prior to August 31, 2019.

Attend Classes
The classes will begin in August, each Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., August 22nd to October 24th. There will also be two Saturday field trips, dates TBA. Attendance is expected for all classes. Should illness or emergency force an absence, arrangements can be made to get that particular day's lecture information.

Classes for the Class of 2019 will be held at the OSU Extension Office, 12200 Fairhill Road, E Building Cleveland, OH 44120. The classes begin on Thursday, August 22 and end on Thursday, October 24. The class duration is from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. There are also two Saturday field trips, dates and times to be announced. Dates, locations and times are subject to change.

Classroom training centers around the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Manual and lectures presented by Ohio State University Extension faculty and staff. Trainees must successfully complete weekly homework. Take-home mid-term and a final examinations will be given.

The Master Gardener Volunteer Training manual, provided by OSU Extension, provides the framework for classroom instruction. Extension faculty members, all experts in the specific areas of horticulture, build on the manual's basic information to give trainees greater breadth and depth of horticultural knowledge.

Topics covered in training include:
■ soils and fertilizers
■ entomology, pesticides and integrated pest management
■ plant pathology
■ plant propagation
■ houseplants
■ lawns
■ herbaceous and woody ornamentals
■ vegetables
■ herbs
■ fruits

Focus is on selecting, growing and maintaining healthy and attractive plants in the residential landscape. Volunteer opportunities are presented at the final class meeting. All information and techniques presented in the training program reflect results of the latest research conducted by the Ohio State University and other leading educational institutions.

Complete the Final Exam
Work alone or team up with fellow trainees to complete this comprehensive take-home test. Completion requires reference to the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Manual, lecture notes, OSU Extension Fact Sheets and Bulletins, and various publications available in the Extension Resource Center.

Fulfill Your Volunteer Commitment
Volunteer opportunities abound! Share your horticultural knowledge with the community through established Master Gardener programs: devote some time to educating others (adult and child-oriented programs); develop, maintain and teach at demonstration, community, and test gardens; represent the Master Gardener Program at fairs, home and garden shows, and other community events; answer questions phoned to the Horticultural Hotline; write for the Trumpet Vine, the Master Gardener newsletter; help physically or emotionally challenged people with horticultural therapy; and provide clerical or administrative support. Volunteering at approved Master Gardener activities may begin on January 1, 2019, after completed final exam submission. Master Gardener trainees for the Class of 2019 must complete 50 hours of volunteer time by September 30, 2020.

Receive Your Designation of Master Gardener Volunteer
Newly certified Master Gardener Volunteers are recognized at a special dinner. Now "official," new Master Gardener Volunteers can look forward to continuing education, fun and interesting social events, and expanded volunteer opportunities.

Keep Going
To keep Master Gardener Volunteer designation active in years after initial certification, participants must fulfill yearly requirements, currently 25 volunteer hours and 10 continuing education hours.

2016 Graduation Luncheon Picture
(Click for larger image)

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Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County, Inc. (MGCC) controls and is solely responsibie for this web site and its contents. MGCC is an Ohio not-for-profit Ohio corporation organized as a I.R.C. 501(c)(3) educational charitable entity, the members of which are Master Gardener Volunteers in the Master Gardener Program of The Ohio State University Extension.

This web site is intended to provide timely, relevant and accurate information. Accuracy, however, cannot be guaranteed, and events may be subject to rescheduling or cancellation. For comments, suggestions and corrections, please contact the
Webmaster.

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