Do you enjoy gardening? Appreciate the environment? Enjoy helping others? Consider joining the local class session for the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Program!
Depending on the format, classes either meet in-person twice per week or are offered with a mix of on-line and in-person classes and labs. In-person sessions alternate around the five counties in the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener unit: Clarke, Frederick, Warren, Page, and Shenandoah.
You can sign up for our email list, and you’ll receive an email when we begin forming the class of 2023. Class size is limited. Completing an application does not guarantee acceptance into the VCE Master Gardener program.
More about the VCE Master Gardener Program
If you join the VCE Master Gardener Program, you’ll meet others with similar interests, update your current knowledge, and help the community through your volunteering at education events and programs.
Becoming a Certified VCE Master Gardener Volunteer begins with a trainee course of a minimum of 50 hours of education. Training covers many topics, including landscape design, botany, pruning, pest management, soils, insects, and various types of plants. After training, trainees graduate to interns.
Interns must complete 50 hours of hands-on training during their first year by volunteering time back to the community at educational activities and programs available throughout the Valley. A variety of projects is available for students to meet their hands-on training commitment. After completion of the course and the hands-on training, students become VCE Master Gardener Volunteers, with a yearly requirement of 20 hours of volunteer service.
The cost for each year’s class is announced on the class flyer. That cost covers course materials, background screening, and a one-year membership in the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association.
All VCE Master Gardener Volunteers are required to complete 8 hours of yearly continuing education. This can be done through approved talks, webinars, and courses. In addition, all active VCE Master Gardener Volunteers are invited to participate in Master Gardener College, an annual advanced training program. Additional training in arboriculture to become certified Tree Stewards or in water quality to become certified Water Stewards is periodically available as well.
If you are interested in becoming certified as an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, sign up for our email list or check back here for details. You can also contact the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Frederick office, at 540-665-5699 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about Association Membership
The class includes the first year’s membership in the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association, or NSVMGA. The Association supports its members in the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren. NSVMGA provides additional opportunities for camaraderie, volunteering, and continuing education.
To continue membership into the following year, the annual dues as of 2021 are a modest $20 per person. Social time, business meetings, and educational sessions are held 8 – 12 times per year. Additional periodic educational offerings are sponsored by NSVMGA.