Master Gardeners

The UME Baltimore City Master Gardener Program

Mission of the UME Baltimore City Master Gardener Program: Educate Baltimore residents about safe, effective, and sustainable horticultural practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes, and communities.

History: The statewide Maryland Master Gardener Program was started in 1978 as a means of extending the horticultural and pest management expertise of University of Maryland Extension to the general public. The Master Gardener Program both nationwide and in Maryland, trains volunteer educators to go out into their own communitites to extend the services, programs, and expertise of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR). Master Gardeners are volunteer representatives of the University of Maryland.  Today, this popular program can be found in 18 Maryland counties, Baltimore City, and two Maryland prisons. 

A picture of a hand holding a plant with soil on the roots

Getting Involved:  All those interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer should apply to attend the UME Baltimore City Master Gardener Basic Training.  If accepted into the training program, the Master Gardener Trainees can expect to receive 40-50 hours of basic training from University of Maryland specialists, professors, and professionals. Upon completion of training, the Master Gardeners Interns will have the resources and knowledge to go out into their communities and teach others how to cultivate garden spaces and manage landscapes sustainably by using science backed, research-based information.  

A Master Gardner plants in a raised garden bed with the help of two students

Above is a photo of a Baltimore City Master Gardener planting vegetables with elementary school students.

Master Gardeners typically work in group-directed teams and committees with MG Interns mentored by senior Master Gardeners.  Typical activities include:

•  Environmental gardening demonstrations and classes

•  Plant clinics/ Ask a Master Gardener which focuses on diagnosing plant pests and problems with a focus on sustainable nontoxic soluntions

•  Individual phone and site consultations for school and community gardens

•  Composting classes and demonstration sites

•  Speaking and making public presentations with approved/verified materials

•  Youth and School gardening

•  Community gardening and beautification

•  Information booths at fairs and festivals

•  Advanced training/continuing education

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