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How to Become a Master Gardener


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County will be offering the next Master Gardener Volunteer training course in October 2024-March 2025. If you are interested in becoming a trained volunteer, please join us for an information session to learn more about the program!

Register here!

Application will be posted from February 1st 2024 through June 15th, 2024



Our new training curriculum will be a hybrid format consisting of watching lectures, reading scholarly articles and completing knowledge checks. We will meet twice a month in person to go over topics covered from online learning, engage with guest presenters, classmates and have hands on experiences to reiterate online learning.

The fee for this course is $200 (partial scholarships are available upon request)

Class dates for 2024-2025

  • October 5th and 19th
  • November 2nd, 16 th and 23rd
  • December 14th
  • January 11th and 25th
  • February 8th
  • March 1st, 15 th and 29th 
  • April 5th-Last day of class


Please email completed applications to Ashly Piedmont at


Mail to CCE Monroe County

Attn: Ashly Piedmont

2449 St. Paul Blvd.

Rochester, NY 14617

Master Gardener Volunteer Mission Statement

We prepare volunteers to be peer educators who build relationships with community audiences to integrate local experience and research-based knowledge in planning for and initiating steps to manage gardens, lawns, and landscapes with an emphasis on food security and environmental stewardship.

What is the Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) Program?

The Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension- Monroe County office to expand garden-based educational outreach throughout the community by providing home and community gardeners with research-based information and skills. Master Gardeners assist throughout Monroe County in a variety of ways from removing invasive plant species from local parks, maintaining plant specimens in Webster, Durand, and Highland’s arboretums, planting and maintaining demonstration gardens, providing outreach and education at various tabling events, and providing valuable assistance to those who call our gardening helpline, just to name a few.

Qualifications for trainees:

Master Gardener trainees should have a basic knowledge of and interest in gardening, good communication skills, enthusiasm for acquiring and sharing horticultural knowledge and skills, ability to build relationships with Monroe County communities, representation of underserved communities (rural and urban), and interest in supporting the MGV Program goals of food security and environmental stewardship.

Interested candidates complete an application, followed by an interview with members of our current Master Gardener Interview Committee.

What are the requirements?

Candidates attend 55 to 75 hours of classroom training over a 5-6 month period. After successful completion, participants commit to 50 hours of volunteer service in the first year, and 30 hours of volunteer service in each subsequent year. Master Gardeners must complete ten hours of continuing horticultural education each year as well as completing annual documentation and required trainings.

Courses include topics such as Botany, Plant Pathology, Composting, Integrated Pest Management, Beneficial Insects, Plant Diseases and more!!


Ashly Piedmont
Master Gardener Coordinator

Last updated January 31, 2024