MGV Project Leader Information

Project leaders play a crucial role in the community service efforts of Master Gardener Volunteers. We are providing these resources to support project leaders in establishing and maintaining successful, sustainable volunteer projects.

Topic Index:

What is an “Approved Master Gardener Volunteer Project”?

In order to qualify for Master Gardener Volunteers to earn volunteer hours towards their yearly requirement, projects must be approved by a UMaine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator. As part of the approval process, the Coordinator will assess if the project aligns with the program’s mission and focus areas, and addresses a local community need. Additionally, they will work with project leaders and partners to assess risk and safety issues.

Master Gardener Volunteer Mission: Foster sustainable gardening practices and enrich the lives of our Master Gardener Volunteers by educating and mentoring gardeners in the community through opportunities to learn, connect with other gardeners, and support community service projects.

Focus areas: 

  • Food Security/Maine Harvest for Hunger
  • Youth and School Garden Programs
  • Ecological Landscapes/Sustainable Gardening
  • Educational Programming (i.e., adult ed/presentations, community events)
  • Accessibility/Therapeutic Gardening

Who is a “Project Leader”?

A project leader can be a Master Gardener Volunteer, an employee of a partner organization or really anyone!

The project leader is:

  • The point of contact for Extension, Community partners and volunteers about a project
  • Responsible for tracking and reporting impacts to Extension
  • Responsible for enrolling project annually
  • Responsible for communication with volunteers
  • Responsible for annual sign-offs (as part of project enrollment)
  • The person who will assess safety and risk associated with a project and work with Extension and Community partners to address any issues

Annual Project Enrollment

Projects will be asked to re-enroll annually (late fall) to collect updated contact information and complete annual sign-offs.

Project Enrollment Instructions

Can’t find your PIN for the portal? Email

Note: See Appendix 1 for a list of the information you will need when you enroll your project. You can use this information to prepare.

Writing a Good Project Description

The project description is your tool to recruit new Master Gardener Volunteers as they enroll. Please consider including the following items in your description:

  • Description of project including tasks involved (helps volunteers picture what they would be doing if they volunteer)
  • What is the goal/mission/community need that your project addresses
  • Where and when they can expect to volunteer

Project Description Examples:

The Brae Maple Farm MGV project’s main focus is growing fresh produce to support Maine Harvest for Hunger. In addition to the vegetable gardens, this large group also maintains a Heritage Garden, Medicine Wheel Garden, a Dying and Drying garden, and does various trials in gardening techniques to display at Extension workshops and on Open Farm Day. Volunteers meet early in the morning once a week, work hard in all kinds of weather, then break for shared snacks and camaraderie. The MOFGA certified organic farm where the project is located is owned and operated by MGVs Andrea and Allan Smith, who sell their produce at farmers’ markets. They’ve generously hosted this volunteer project since 1998.


The Bridgton Community Garden consists of 50 individual raised bed plots and 2 accessible raised beds rented annually to community members. Subsidized beds are available, as well as beds dedicated to growing food for those in need. Surplus produce is donated to area food pantries and the Bridgton Community Center senior lunch program. An adjacent large pollinator/native plant garden is maintained by MGVs. We have future aspirations for educational programs and community events.


Reporting Project Impacts

We ask project leaders to report the impacts of their projects on an annual basis, at the same time they enroll their project for the following year (late fall of each year). These impacts can include the number of adults and youth reached directly* and indirectly** through events, workshops etc. Impacts can also include pounds of produce donated through gleaning or growing. These impacts are crucial for us to report back to our funders to show the impacts of the resources we spend on training Master Gardener Volunteers.

*Direct impacts: people who directly interact with you through your volunteering including workshop participants, students participating in a lesson in a school garden etc.

**Indirect impacts: people who interact with a resource you created (but not directly with you): visitors to a demonstration garden, readers of a newspaper article or newsletter etc.

Appendix 1 includes the list of what impacts we’ll ask you to report and Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 includes some forms you could adopt for tracking.

Writing a Success Story

Not all impacts can be captured in numbers. We also ask you to share a story about how your project impacted the community or an individual this year.


“It is not unusual to receive recognition and thanks for the work we do in the gardens at the Ronald McDonald House, but every once in a while we are graced with the reason we volunteer our time and work so hard. Last week I was approached by the grandmother of an infant who is in NICU. Her story about her beloved 6 month old grandson was so sad and her gratefulness for quiet reflective time in the garden so poignant. She shared that every evening after a long day in the hospital she and her husband sit in the garden and it is the only place that brings them comfort while so far from home. She was so thankful for the little sanctuary we have created.”

– Robin Babino, Cumberland MGV

Useful Contacts

UMaine Extension Resources for Your Project

Appendix 1: Project Enrollment and Impact Reporting

You can use this form to get all your information ready for the online enrollment process.

Download printable PDF version of the Project Enrollment and Impact Reporting information:

Project Information

Project Start and End Date:

Are you accepting new volunteers and if so, how many?

When will you need volunteers? (Days of the week)

Will volunteers work with any of the following vulnerable populations?


How did you acknowledge MGV contributions to your project in the past year (select all that apply)?

Annual reports
Press releases

Questions for projects that grew, harvested, or gleaned food for donation: How many volunteers were involved (including non-MGVs)

  1. What were the total pounds of produce donated?
  2. How many sites did the donated produce come from? (gardens, farms, etc)
  3. How many sites received donated produce?
  4. Other information you’d like to share (seedling donations, partner organizations, etc)

Questions for projects that directly reached adults or youth: Please estimate if needed:

  1. How many adults did your project reach directly this year through workshops, school garden participation, etc.?
  2. How many youths did your project reach directly this year?

Questions for projects that indirectly reached people:

Indirect reach would be people who did not directly interact with you and your volunteers, but still utilized a resource related to your project. Examples include: visitors to demonstration gardens, readers of newspaper or newsletter articles.

  1. How many people did your project reach indirectly this year? (Estimate if needed)

Please share a story about how your project impacted the community or an individual this year:

Anything else you would like us to know?

Download printable PDF version of the Project Enrollment and Impact Reporting information:


Appendix 2: Produce Donation Tracking Sheet

Please track the following information for each donation:

  • Date
  • Vegetable Crop(s)
  • Donation Site(s)
  • Recipient Site(s)
  • Pounds

Download a printable PDF version of the Produce Donation Tracking Sheet:


Appendix 3: Outreach Tracking Sheet

Please track the following information for each event:

  • Date
  • Event Name
  • # of adults reached
  • # youth reached

Download a printable PDF version of the Outreach Tracking Sheet: