Do You Enjoy:
  • Meeting and talking with people;
  • Researching answers to questions that you or others may have;
  • Instructing/organizing educational classes or programs;
  • Sharing your horticultural expertise and time with others; and
  • Working with other gardening enthusiasts?
Have You Ever?
  • Had a vegetable of flower garden;
  • Grown perennials or houseplants;
  • Seeded, fertilized or renovated a lawn;
  • Planted or pruned trees and shrubs?
Do You Have?
  • At least five (5) hours of time per month that you can volunteer to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County
If You Answered YES to the last question and any of the others, the Master Gardener program might be the ideal volunteer opportunity for you.
Master Gardener For over 96 years, the key to Cooperative Extension’s success has been the involvement of volunteers in the delivery of research based information. The Master Gardener Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work with their county Cooperative Extension office to extend information throughout their communities. The first Master Gardener Program was started in Washington State in 1972.
Forty six states now have Master Gardener programs with over 15,000 people participating nationwide. More than 1,000 of these Master Gardeners are from New York State.

In Oswego County some of the Master Gardeners educational efforts include:

  • The Horticulture Hotline, a service where Oswego County residents can get answers to their gardening questions over the phone.
  • A Diagnostic Service, where gardeners can drop by and have a plant, insect or disease identified or a soil pH taken.
  • Ongoing classes, special programs and information booths at fairs, garden centers, clubs, and other organizations and businesses.
Who are Master Gardeners?
Master Gardeners are people from all walks of life: business people, homemakers, farmers, students, professionals, retirees. They are united by their love of gardening, their desire to share their knowledge with others and by their commitment to volunteering for Cooperative Extension.
How do I become a Master Gardener?
If being a Master Gardener sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, contact our office at 315-963-7286 and fill out an application form.

Master Gardener candidates are interviewed for experience, willingness to learn and share, and suitability to the program.

The training program is taught by Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators and Cornell University Faculty. Topics covered include: composting, pest control, lawn and landscape care, fruit and vegetable culture and flower gardening. Once the training has been successfully completed, Master Gardeners are required to volunteer 100 hours of time over a two year period.

There is a $200 fee at the start of the course to cover the cost of materials and instruction time. $100 is refunded once 100 hours of volunteer commitment has been completed.