About us

home & garden information center

The Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) is a statewide program of the University of Maryland Extension (UME) in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. We are located at the Central Maryland Research and Education Center/Clarksville (CMREC). HGIC provides science-based gardening and pest management education for residents of Maryland. We are the home of the UME Master Gardener Program, a 2,500+ member network of volunteers who deliver gardening education in local communities throughout the state.

Our vision

People gardening and managing land in harmony with nature.

Our mission

Connect Maryland residents to trusted science-based resources to grow healthy gardens, landscapes, and communities.

Our services

Master Gardener Program

Master Gardeners are volunteers who receive training from the University of Maryland Extension and combine their love of plants, people, and the environment to help Maryland residents create gardens, solve plant problems, and make environmentally sound decisions in their green spaces. This popular program is active in 20 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. Master Gardeners:

  • Teach classes and workshops on topics such as food gardening, native gardens, composting, Bay-wise landscaping, and more.
  • Diagnose plant problems and provide gardening education at “Ask a Master Gardener” plant clinics.
  • Create and manage demonstration gardens that feature Maryland-adapted plants and good gardening practices – all open for the public to discover, learn from, and enjoy.

Teaching and outreach

UME faculty provide education to the Maryland public and Master Gardeners in a variety of formats.

  • In-person and online classes and workshops
  • Individual consultations at county offices and online
  • The Master Gardener Handbook
  • Sustainable Horticulture Short Course
  • Instructional videos, digital fact sheets, social media, and newsletters

Ask Extension

We answer over 6,000 yard and garden-related questions annually from Maryland residents via the Extension Foundation’s national Ask Extension platform. All residents of Maryland are welcome to submit garden or pest-related questions at any time, year-round. Questions are answered by Maryland Certified Professional Horticulturists, University of Maryland faculty and staff, and UME Master Gardeners.

What sets our service apart from other information sources? Our team is in tune with Maryland’s environments, seasonal pest outbreaks, and horticultural science best practices. We are not influenced by businesses or product sales. Our answers are tailored to each resident’s specific needs and concerns. We offer an Integrated Pest Management approach that aims to reduce unnecessary pesticide use and reduce harm to the environment.

GARDENING Resources Online

We provide information in a variety of formats online to help Maryland residents start and maintain healthy green spaces.

Annual report

(PDF) 2023 Home & Garden | Master Gardener Annual Report


Name Contact Information
Jon Traunfeld
HGIC Director, Extension Specialist, Fruits & Vegetables
410 531 5572
David Clement, Ph.D.
Extension Specialist
Plant Pathology
(20% HGIC; 80% commercial industry)
410 531 5558
Madeline Potter, M.S.
Faculty Specialist - Entomology & Integrated Pest Management
Allyson Rogan 
Business Services Specialist
Home and Garden Information Center
410 531 1764
Stephanie Pully
State UME Master Gardener Coordinator
410 531 1754
Christa Carignan
Digital Horticulture Education
410 531 1752
Miri Talabac
Horticulture Consultant
Chris McComas
Horticulture Consultant
Emily Porter
Horticulture Consultant
Kaitlyn Baligush
Program Management Specialist
State Master Gardener Program

Master Gardener Coordinators for each city/county are listed on our Local Programs page and you can visit or call your local Extension Office.

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