General Information


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). This year’s class will be held in Winchester/ Frederick County. 

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, download an informational flyer and contact the Virginia Cooperative Extension – Frederick office — at 540-665-5699 or via email: