The 2016 Class will begin on February 9, 2016 and be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Winchester. Cost for the training is approximately $225 per person.

The following is the course that the Trainees will be completing:



Tues., February 09 — MG Class Coordinators, NSVMGA Officers, County Coordinators/ Orientation to VCE & NSVMGA…policies, mission, history, Unit and County projects; student intros; group presentations

Thurs., February 11 — Steve Carroll (State Arboretum of Virginia) — Botany I
Reading Assignment: Chapter 1 Welcome to VCE MG; Chapter 2 Basic Botany

Tues., February 16 — Steve Carroll (State Arboretum of Virginia) — Botany II
Reading Assignment: Chapter 2 Basic Botany

Thurs., February 18 — T’ai Roultson (UVA Blandy Experimental Farm) — Entomology: Good/Bad Insects
Reading Assignment: Chapter 5 Basic Entomology

Tues., February 23 — Cindy Frenzel (Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah) — Water Quality and Urban Nutrient Management
Reading Assignment: Chapter 19 Water Quality and Conservation

Thurs., February 25 — Multiple Presenters
Fred Frenzel (VDGIF Biologist) — Wildlife Control & Management (1:00-2:30 pm)*
Reading Assignment: Chapter 20 Wildlife      

MG Richard Stromberg — Invasive Plants (2:30-4:00pm)*

Tues., March 01 — Multiple Presenters
MG Paula Brownlee — Public Speaking (1:00-2:30 pm)*

Mike Neese (Winchester City Recycling Coordinator) — Composting (2:30-4:00pm) *

Thurs., March 03 — Adria Bordas (VCE)  — Plant Pathology (Plant Diseases) and Pest Management
Reading Assignment: Chapter 6 Plant Pathology

Tues., March 08 — Jason Cooper (VCE)  — Plant Pathology Abiotic Issues (Non-Biological Causes)
Reading Assignment: Chapter 7 Abiotic Stress & Chapter 8

Thurs., March 10 — Mike Goatley  — Lawns: Care, Fertilizers, Weed Control, Turf
Reading Assignment: Chapter 15 Lawns

Sat., March 12MG Symposium at Shenandoah University –Trainees pre-registered

Tues., March 15 — Bobby Clark (VCE Agent) — Soils & Fertilizers
Reading Assignment: Chapter 3 Soils; Chapter 4 Nutrient Management & Fertilizers

Thurs., March 17 — Chris Schmidt — Herbaceous Perennials: ID & Selection
Reading Assignment: Chapter 17 Herbaceous Plants  

Tues., March 22 — Carrie Whitacre — Trees and Shrubs: Ornamental
Reading assignment: Chapter 16 Woody Ornamentals

(Student group presentations start now)

Thurs., March 24 — MG Mary Stickley-Godinez — Annuals, Bulbs, and Houseplants
Reading assignment: Chapter 12 Indoor Plants; Chapter 17 Herbaceous Plants

Tues., March 29 — Ben Rose — Pruning:  Pruning Demo/Workshop
Reading assignment: Chapter 11 Pruning

Thurs., March 31 — MG Lynn Hoffmann — Plant Propagation – Hands On
Reading assignment: Chapter 10 Plant Propagation

Tues., April  05 — Bill Mackintosh — Berries & Fruit Trees
Reading assignment: Chapter 14 Fruits in the Home Garden

Thurs., April 07 — MG Paula Brownlee — Vegetables & Herbs
Reading assignment: Chapter 13 The Vegetable Garden

Tue April 12 — MG Mary Stickley-Godinez — Landscape Design
Reading assignment: Chapter 18 Landscape Design

Thurs., April 14 — Tammy Epperson, 4H VCE; Kaila Anglin, Clarke VCE agent; MG Lynn Hoffmann and Helen Lake — Youth in Horticulture

Tues., April 19 — Mark Sutphin VCE agent  — Pesticide Safety, Use of PMG Reference
Reading assignment: Chapter 9 Pesticide Use and Safety

Thurs., April 21 — Class Coordinators — “Healthy Virginia Lawns Program Overview; General Q&A; hand out take-home final exams

Tues., April 26 — MG Karen Brill  — Review Final Exams in Class

(Note: June 3-4  “Gardenfest” at Belle Grove  –  Graduation Ceremony)



Do you enjoy gardening? Love nature? Appreciate the environment? Want to share your outdoor passions with others? Welcome to the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program where you will meet others with your interest(s), update your current knowledge, and help the community grow through your volunteering at education events and programs. Members personally grow by advancing their knowledge and by participating in educational opportunities.


Becoming a Certified Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener begins with 50 hours of classroom education.

The course is held once each year within the five county region. It provides remedial training in many topics including landscape design, botany, pruning, pest management, soils, insects, and various types of plants.

After completion of this minimum 50-hour classroom course, interns must complete 50 hours of hands-on training through volunteering back to the community at educational activities and programs available throughout the Valley.


Classes are generally held in the months of February through April. Information on when and where classes will be held each year is generally available by December 1 of the preceding year.


We try to alternate locations among the five counties in our region (Clarke, Frederick, Warren, Page and Shenandoah).

The cost for each year is announced when the class information is sent out in December.  The fee covers the cost of training materials, supplies, a VCE Master Gardener Handbook, a VCE Pest Management Guide, and a one year membership in the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association.

After the first year, NSVMGA annual dues are $20.00 a year per person or $25.00 per couple.

Continuing Education:

All active Master Gardeners who have completed their internship are invited to participate in Master Gardener College, an annual advanced training program held in June on the Virginia Tech campus.

Additional training in arboriculture to become certified Tree Stewards, or in water quality to become certified as Water Stewards is available as well. The monthly educational sessions at the Master Gardener Association meetings play an important part in the continuing education program.

Association Membership:

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association is comprised of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties.

  • Your first year membership is included in the cost of the Master Gardener Course.
  • Future dues are a modest $20 per person or $25 per couple a year.
  • Business meetings and educational sessions are held monthly.
  • You may notice several events on our calendar that are for “Master Gardeners Only”. Once accepted into the Master Gardener program, you will be invited to begin participating in all of the Association’s activities and events.


If you are interested in becoming certified as an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer or you have further questions, please contact the Virginia Cooperative Extension – Frederick office — at 540-665-5699 or email: