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HOW TO BECOME A MASTER GARDENER
 
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Class of 2011 - Installation Dinner

Class of 2016 - Graduation Lunch (more pictures below)

2016 Basic Training Classes for prospective Master Gardeners began on Tuesday, August 16 and ended on Tuesday, October 18, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; with three Saturday sessions, dates and times to be announced.

Master Gardener Volunteer Basic Training
The process of becoming a Master Gardener begins with gathering information and attending training classes. All potential volunteers will: (1) receive a position description; (2) complete an application and return it to the county Extension office; (3) have references collected by Extension professionals; (4) complete an interview; (5) submit to a criminal history fingerprint record check; and (6) agree to and sign the Volunteer Standards of Behavior form. In addition, each potential MGV receives a copy of the (7) Master Gardener Volunteer Program Policy Statement and (8) agree to and sign the Master Gardener Volunteer Pest Management Information Policy.

Attend an "Info Session"
At least two information sessions are held prior to the application deadline for Cuyahoga County residents. Locations vary, but are usually on opposite sides of the county, East, West or South. You can choose the location that is most convenient to you. The specific dates, times and locations will be posted on this website, or call the OSU Extension office at (216) 429-8200, ext. 231 for the specific details.

At these sessions there will be the opportunity to meet with Ohio State University Extension faculty and Master Gardeners for an in-depth look at the Master Gardener program. The answers to any questions you might have regarding training, volunteer opportunities, and special events will be handled. The Master Gardener volunteer description provides some of these details. Attending an Information Session is recommended, but not mandatory in order to submit an application.

2016 Information Sessions:

Date Day Time Location
May 23 Mon.. 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Shaker Heights - Van Aken Blvd
May 25 Wed. 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Fairview Park Library
May 26 Thurs. 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. OSU Extension Office

To be put on a mailing list to receive information about the upcoming training or Info Sessions, fill out the form and submit the form in the green box above, or complete the form on the MG Brochure and send it to our office.

Complete an Application
You may obtain a 2016 prospective Master Gardener trainee information packet, with an application, by 1) clicking a following link to download an application in editable Word format, printable .pdf format or fillable, savable and printable.pdf format, 2) contacting the OSU Extension office, or 3) picking one up at an Information Session held before the registration deadline. Please provide all information required and return the completed application by the deadline listed on the application. In addition, three references are required to be named on the application and reference forms completed by them are also to be received by the application deadline. The application deadline for the Class of 2016 applicants is July 1, 2016.
Click for additional reference forms in editable Word format, printable .pdf format or fillable, savable and printable.pdf format.

Applicant Interviews
Meet with the program's selection committee for a personal interview. Discuss your primary interests, skills and talents and ask any questions you may have about the Master Gardener Program. Applicants are chosen on a competitive basis. Interviews for the prospective Class of 2016 will be scheduled at the OSU Extension Office, 5320 Stanard Avenue, Cleveland, on Monday, July 11, from 2-7 p.m., and Tuesday, July 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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Acceptance Notification
Because enrollment in the Master Gardener Program is limited, not all applicants will be able to enter the upcoming training session. Mail notification will either indicate acceptance or encourage those who are "closed out" of the program to reapply next year. Some of the most dedicated and effective Master Gardeners did not get into the program the first time they applied. If you are not able to participate in the current year's program, do not be discouraged. Reapply for the next year. Applicants for the Class of 2015 will be notified of their status by the week of tba.

Pay Course Fee and Background Check
A fee to cover training and materials is due upon acceptance into the program and must be paid prior to the first class. For the Class of 2016, the cost is $250.00. Payment plans and sliding fees are available. An online background check will be required.

Attend Classes
Classes traditionally--not for 2015 or 2016--have met from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. one day a week for eleven weeks, with an hour-long lunch break. Attendance is expected for all classes. Should illness or emergency force an absence, arrangements can be made to get that particular day's lecture information.

Classes for the Class of 2016 will be held at the OSU Extension office at 5320 Stanard Avenue, Cleveland. The classes will begin on Tuesday, August 16 and end on Tuesday, October 18. The class duration is from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. There will also be three day-long Saturday sessions, dates and times to be announced. Dates, locations and times are subject to change.

Classroom training centers around the Master Gardener Training Manual and lectures presented by Ohio State University Extension faculty and staff. A mid-term and a final examination will be given.

The Master Gardener Training manual, provided by OSU Extension, provides the framework for classroom instruction. Extension faculty members,
all experts in the specific areas of horticulture, build on the manual's basic information to give trainees greater breadth and depth of horticultural
knowledge.

Topics covered in training include:
■ soils and fertilizers
■ entomology, pesticides and integrated pest management
■ plant pathology
■ plant propagation
■ houseplants
■ lawns
■ herbaceous and woody ornamentals
■ vegetables
■ herbs
■ fruits

Focus is on selecting, growing and maintaining healthy and attractive plants in the residential landscape. Volunteer opportunities are presented at the final class meeting. All information and techniques presented in the training program reflect results of the latest research conducted by the Ohio State University and other leading educational institutions.

Complete the Final Exam
Work alone or team up with fellow trainees to complete this comprehensive take-home test. Completion requires reference to the Master Gardener Training Manual, lecture notes, OSU Extension Fact Sheets and Bulletins, and various publications available in the Extension Resource Center.

Fulfill Your Volunteer Commitment
Volunteer opportunities abound! Share your horticultural knowledge with the community through established Master Gardener programs: devote some time to educating others (adult and child-oriented programs); develop, maintain and teach at demonstration, community, and test gardens; represent the Master Gardener Program at fairs, home and garden shows, and other community events; answer questions phoned to the Horticultural Hotline; write for the Trumpet Vine, the Master Gardener newsletter; help physically or emotionally challenged people with horticultural therapy; and provide clerical or administrative support. Volunteering at approved Master Gardener activities my begin after completed final exam submission. Master Gardener trainees for the Class of 2016 must complete 50 hours of volunteer time by September 30, 2017.

Receive Your Designation of Master Gardener
New Master Gardeners are recognized at a special dinner. Now "official," new Master Gardeners can look forward to continuing education, fun and interesting social events, and expanded volunteer opportunities.

Keep Going
To keep Master Gardener designation active, participants must fulfill yearly requirements of 20 volunteer hours and 10 continuing education hours.

2016 Graduation Luncheon Picture
(Click for larger image)

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Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County, Inc. (MGCC) controls and is solely responsibie for this web site and its contents. MGCC is an Ohio not-for-profit Ohio corporation organized as a I.R.C. 501(c)(3) educational charitable entity, the members of which are Master Gardener Volunteers in the Master Gardener Program of The Ohio State University Extension.

This web site is intended to provide timely, relevant and accurate information. Accuracy, however, cannot be guaranteed, and events may be subject to rescheduling or cancellation. For comments, suggestions and corrections, please contact the
Webmaster.

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