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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 2018 and is now for reference only.
Information for the Class of 2019 will be posted when available.

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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) receive a position description; (2) complete an application and return it to the county Extension office; (3) have references collected by Extension professionals; (4) complete an interview; (5) submit to a criminal history fingerprint record check; and (6) agree to and sign the Volunteer Standards of Behavior form. In addition, each potential MGV receives a copy of the (7) Master Gardener Volunteer Program Policy Statement and (8) agree to and sign the Master Gardener Volunteer Pest Management Information Policy.

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, ext. 231 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.

2018 Information Sessions:

Date Day Time Location
May 1 Tuesday 5:30 - 8:30

Parma-Snow Library - Room A
2121 Snow Rd, Parma

May 2 Wednesday 5:30 - 8:30

Shaker Heights Main Library- Room G
16500 Van Aken Blvd. Shaker Heights

May 3 Thursday 5:30 - 8:30

Mayfield Library - Large Meeting Room
500 SOM Center Road, Mayfield Village

May 9 Wednesday 5:30 - 8:30

Brook Park Library  - Large Meeting Room
6155 Engle Road, Brook Park

May 10 Thursday 5:30 - 8:30

Fairview Park Library - Room A
21255 Lorain Road, Fairview Park

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

Complete an Application
You may obtain a 2018 prospective Master Gardener trainee information packet, with an application, by 1) clicking a following link to download an application in printable .pdf format, 2) contacting the OSU Extension office, or 3) 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, three references are required to be named on the application and reference forms completed by them are also to be received by the application deadline. The application deadline for the Class of 2018 applicants is July 8, 2018.
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 2018 will be scheduled at the OSU Extension Office, 12200 Fairhill Road, E Building Cleveland, OH 44120, the second or third week of July (dates TBA).

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 2018 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 2018, the cost is $250.00. (Limited sliding scales are available based on need, see application.) 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, 2018

Attend Classes
The classes will begin in August, each Thursday night, dates August 9th to October 25th. There will also be three day-long Saturday classes, 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 2018 will be held at the OSU Extension Office, 12200 Fairhill Road, E Building Cleveland, OH 44120. The classes began on Tuesday, August 1 and ended on Tuesday, October 3. The class duration is from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. There were also three day-long Saturday sessions, 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. A mid-term and a final examination 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

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 2018 must complete 50 hours of volunteer time by September 30, 2019.

Receive Your Designation of Master Gardener Volunteer
New 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, participants must fulfill yearly requirements of 20 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

MGCC embraces human diversity and is committed to ensuring that all research and related educational programs are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. This statement is in accordance with United States Civil Rights Laws and the USDA.