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MS Master Gardener Volunteer

Selection Criteria for Volunteers

Individuals accepted into the program will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Agreement that outlines the training and volunteer expectations.

Qualifications

  • Previous volunteer experience
  • Gardening experience and expertise
  • Communication skills (listening, talking, writing)
  • Ability and desire to learn
  • Interest in helping people
  • Willingness to provide unbiased, research-based information
  • Training facility limitations

Responsibilities

  • Enhance county home horticulture on behalf of, and under the supervision of, the Mississippi State University Extension Service, through volunteer work.
  • Represent the Mississippi State University Extension Service in a professional manner.
  • Adhere to the policies of the Mississippi Master Gardeners program.

Examples of Volunteer Service

Upon completing the 40 volunteer hours commitment, volunteers will become certified Master Gardeners. Volunteers are expected to keep a record of their volunteer activities, hours, and contacts.

The 40 hours of volunteer work are to be completed within one year following the last core training class.

  • 4-H presentation coach
  • Answering telephone hotline
  • Exhibits at fair/malls/shows
  • Demonstration/teaching gardens
  • Newsletter editor
  • Master Gardener Volunteer personnel records
  • School gardens
  • Plant clinics
  • Speakers bureau
  • Office work
  • New class coordinator

Possible Projects

  • Staffing plant clinics in the Extension office or other locations
  • Developing, setting up, and staffing educational exhibits
  • Planting and maintaining demonstration areas (turf, flowers, vegetables, water conservation, native plants, etc.)
  • Serving as 4-H horticulture project leaders
  • Teaching 4-H horticulture enrichment units in local schools
  • Speaking to civic groups and garden clubs
  • Conducting horticulture tours
  • Answering horticulture questions that come to the county Extension office by phone, office visitor, and letter
  • Conducting horticulture therapy programs at nursing homes
  • Judging horticulture exhibits or school science fair projects
  • Judging 4-H horticulture demonstrations or illustrated talks
  • Mailing newsletters, publications, and bulletins to noncommercial horticultural clientele
  • Appearing on television or radio programs to discuss home horticulture topics

Individual Activity Report Form - PDF

 

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Publications

News

 A closeup of the official Monarch Waystation sign is shown in the revitalized children's educational garden at the MSU Crosby Arboretum
Filed Under: Master Gardener, Plants and Wildlife, Places for Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife December 4, 2017

A project by the Pearl River County Master Gardeners aims to help increase populations of monarch butterflies by providing habitat and educating the public.

This past spring, the group revamped a portion of the children’s educational garden at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum to serve as an official, certified Monarch Waystation. Master Gardener members recently dedicated the garden with the placement of a sign from Monarch Watch, the nonprofit organization that manages the waystation program.

One woman uses a shovel to break open a rootball on a small, unplanted tree while another woman and a man assist.
Filed Under: Master Gardener, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers November 21, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Several Mississippi Master Gardener groups marked the state's bicentennial with near-perfect tributes -- by donating and planting Magnolia grandifloras in their communities.

"The tributes are perfect in a state known for its generosity, service to others and love for the environment," said Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Warren County Master Gardener Yolanda Horne checks on worms living in a plastic bin on June 13, 2017. The worms were part of an exhibit on composting at the Know Your Roots: Grow Your Business workshop in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Bonnie Coblentz)
Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Community, Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden June 16, 2017

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Mississippians from a wide variety of backgrounds spent a day thinking of new ways to use landscapes and gardens to bring more profit and better value to agricultural enterprises and historic homes.

Know Your Roots: Build Your Business brought 29 participants together for the daylong workshop June 13 at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. Sandy Havard, Warren County agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, coordinated the event.

Lida McDowell holds an alternanthera plant at her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on April 27, 2017. McDowell is a member of the Pine Belt Master Gardeners -- one of more than 60 such groups throughout the state that operate under the supervision of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Master Gardener May 4, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Lida McDowell taught science and math for 30 years at the high school and university levels, and she keeps finding ways to educate while enjoying an interest she had no time to pursue until retirement.

The raised-bed vegetable gardens she and church friend Karen Walker maintain year-round serve as a classroom for a young audience at Thames Elementary School in Hattiesburg.

“What we’re trying to do is get the kids to enjoy nature, be outside and appreciate where their food comes from,” McDowell said.

Lynn McMahan of Vancleave, past president of the Mississippi Master Gardeners, learns about plant diseases from Clarissa Balbalian, manager of the Mississippi State University Extension Service's plant diagnostic lab, during campus tours in 2013. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
Filed Under: Master Gardener October 12, 2016

TUPELO, Miss. -- For more than a quarter century, Mississippians with a love for horticulture have been helping to educate and serve their communities through a nationwide Extension Service program.

Success Stories

A male retiree in a plaid shirt and khaki slacks sits in front of a piano. On its soundboard is a picture of his late wife in her wedding gown and gloves.
About Extension, Master Gardener Extension Matters: Volume 3 Number 3

In 2016, Myrtle native Michael Hale was looking for a meaningful, lasting way to remember his late wife, Vicki M. Smith.

 

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