a red tablecloth with plants on it

Master Gardener Volunteers

The Master Gardener Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension office to expand educational outreach throughout the community by providing home gardeners with research-based information. Master Gardeners assist with gardening projects in the community, teach classes and workshops, provide information and soil pH testing at events, and answer gardening questions from callers.

In Columbia and Greene Counties, Master Gardener volunteers are an integral component of the counties' outreach program in educating:

  • Home gardeners
  • 4-H Clubs
  • Youth in after-school programs
  • Community gardeners
  • Gardening clubs and other groups

Projects and functions carried out by Master Gardeners are based on educational priorities. Some of the ways in which Master Gardeners have been involved include:

  • Answering horticultural inquiries on the telephone
  • Researching and answering letters
  • Writing articles about gardening
  • Setting up demonstration projects in public places
  • School gardens
  • Community improvement projects
  • Horticultural therapy
  • Organizing plant sales and public events
  • County fair informational booths
  • Increasing awareness and education of integrated pest management, invasive species, water quality conservation and other environmental issues

Want to become a Master Gardener?

To become a Master Gardener, one must successfully complete the training course and volunteer 150 hours within a 2-year period. Anyone who enjoys gardening, has a desire to share skills, and who can volunteer is encouraged to apply. 

Learn how to become a Master Gardener.


Xandra Powers
Community Horticulture Coordinator
518-828-3346 x106

Last updated May 30, 2024