University of Maryland Extension

Volunteer Opportunities

After completing the Montgomery County training program, a Master Gardener Intern must complete a minimum of 45 volunteer hours in order to become a Master Gardener. To remain an active Master Gardener after that first year, a minimum of 25 hours volunteer time per calendar year is required.

There are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, including ongoing community work, demonstration gardens and special events. Many are described below. Only approved activities for Master Gardeners can be applied toward these required hours. After reviewing the information on this page, if you still have questions about whether your activity qualifies, please email the Master Gardener Office (link sends e-mail) or call 301-590-2836.

Close Encounters (October event) This hands-on program teaches Montgomery County’s fourth grade students about nutrition, the environment, and where their food comes from. (Derwood)

Demonstration Gardens Master Gardeners maintain demonstration gardens at three locations in the county showcasing examples of what Montgomery County home owners can do in their own yards. (Derwood, Montgomery County Agricultural Fairgrounds, National Institute of Health)

Grow It Eat It Master Gardeners partner with the Home and Garden Information Center to address the growing need of Marylanders to learn how to start and maintain successful food gardens. (various locations)

Harvest Festival (October event) Master Gardeners provide education on gardening topics to members of the general public. Speaker and facilitator opportunities. (Derwood)

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair (August event) Master Gardeners meet with fairgoers to showcase the Demonstration Garden and answer visitors' questions. (Montgomery County Agricultural Fairgrounds)

Plant Clinics and Ballard Room Volunteers help members of the general public with their gardening questions and problems. (various locations)

Speakers Bureau Master Gardeners make presentations that educate county residents about safe, effective and sustainable horticultural practices to build healthy gardens, landscapes and communities. (various locations)

Spring Conference (early spring event) Master Gardeners provide education on gardening topics to members of the general public. Speaker and facilitator opportunities are available. (Derwood)

Therapeutic Horticulture The goal of Therapeutic Horticulture is to bring a hands-on experience in the garden or with nature to a target audience (special needs/elderly) who are either no longer able to be outside gardening or need assistance to do so. Through projects incorporating plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs, we hope to invigorate their senses, promote their awareness of the natural world, and to foster creativity and socialization.

Urban Gardening Volunteers demonstrate examples of urban gardening on select Saturdays at Fresh Farm Market. (Silver Spring)

Youth Gardening Master Gardeners work with Montgomery County youth to teach nutrition, garden with the children and send harvested food home with them. (Silver Spring)

Montgomery County Master Gardeners at a Plant Clinic

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