How to Apply / Training Schedule

2020 Master Gardener Volunteer Application – Applications are no longer being accepted

Please read all before applying below.

Because of the high demand and long waiting list for this program, we are only able to accept a percentage of the applicants.  Acceptance is based on complete and in-depth answers to questions on the application form, so be sure to respond thoughtfully and leave no blanks.

Deadline to apply: Wednesday, January 8th, 4:30 p.m.

Background Check

It is the University of Maine’s policy to conduct a background check on those who have direct responsibility for the care, safety, and security of community members or property and the care, safety, and security of minors (under 18), the elderly, incapacitated persons, or persons with developmental disabilities who participate in University-sponsored programs. Master Gardener Volunteers’ projects are diverse in scope and there are many occasions where Master Gardener Volunteers do take on this level of responsibility. It is for that reason we conduct background checks on all volunteers. If you are accepted into the program, Extension staff will provide you with the necessary URL for the background check. The Human Resources Department handles the background check process and staff does not receive a copy of the results. Please be aware any issues arising for the background check will not necessarily preclude you from participation in the program or being unable to volunteer, but it may impact which projects you are ultimately matched with. The University of Maine is committed to providing a safe environment for teaching, learning and community outreach.

Training Schedule and Requirements

The 2020 training will be held at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office, 63 Boggy Brook Road, Ellsworth. Classes are held every Friday from January 24 through May 22, 8:30 a.m.-Noon. There will also be three additional Tuesday evening classes (April 7th, 21st, and 28th, 5:00-8:15 p.m.).

If you commit to this program, you are expected to attend at least 80% of the 17 classes, pass the final exam, and work actively on an established Master Gardener Volunteer project for at least one year following completion of the training.

View the 2020 Class Training Schedule  

In Hancock and Washington Counties, there are between ten and fifteen different predetermined Master Gardener Volunteer projects each year. You are expected to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours on an existing MGV project within one year of completing the training in order to become certified as a Master Gardener Volunteer.

The nature of these community volunteer projects is as follows:

  • grow organic vegetables in community gardens for food pantries, soup kitchens, and limited income housing facilities (Ellsworth, Seal Harbor, Hancock, Cherryfield)
  • care for and conduct educational outreach from public ornamental gardens (native plant or pollinator gardens in Ellsworth, Blue Hill or Southwest Harbor)
  • conduct children’s gardening programs (Mount Desert, Eastbrook)
  • glean produce from farms and deliver it to hunger relief organizations (throughout Hancock and Washington Counties)
  • plan and lead public workshops on relevant gardening topics for small groups
  • conduct inventories of and eradicate invasive plant species from local natural areas.

Training Manual

The Maine Master Gardener Training Manual is an online resource that requires a reliable Internet connection. It contains a collection of bulletins, instructional videos, chapters, and links that have been carefully selected to provide you with timely, in-depth, and applied information. The online format will allow you to access new and updated materials long after your training.

Program Fee

The Maine Master Gardener Volunteers Training fee is $220. This fee will be due upon acceptance to the program, and before the first class. Instructions to make your online payment will be sent once you’ve been notified of acceptance into the program. Partial scholarships will be made available on a case-by-case basis. If you are in need of financial assistance, please check off the appropriate box on the application.

Apply to Become a Master Gardener Volunteer . –  Applications are no longer being accepted – Deadline has passed

Application Form  – You will receive an email confirmation when your application has successfully submitted.  Please contact if you experience any problems while completing the application.

Deadline to apply:  January 8th, 2020

Applicants will be notified Mid-January if accepted into the class.