Master Gardeners in Penobscot County

woman working in gardenMaster Gardeners are truly special people dedicated to sharing their horticultural knowledge and skills with their community. This program provides participants with in-depth training in the art and science of horticulture.

Within a year of taking the training, Master Gardener Volunteers are asked to serve 40 hours in projects that educate the public and/or address food insecurity in our region. To remain an active Master Gardener, we ask volunteers to serve at least 20 hours in subsequent years.

Request Master Gardener Volunteer Support

Here are just a few examples of local projects:

Maine Harvest for Hunger vegetable gardenMaine Harvest for Hunger

Volunteers help neighbors in need by growing food in their home gardens and community gardens. They can also help by participating in end-of-market pickup programs at farmers’ markets or gleaning activities at local farms.

School gardenSchool Gardens

A number of area schools are doing an excellent job using horticulture to teach a wide range of subjects. These schools can use your help to keep the gardens going throughout the season and, in some cases, serve as garden mentors to staff and students.  In some areas, we partner with FoodCorps to build deeper relationships with school staff and support more food education and local food access. FoodCorps Service members are always looking for volunteers to help connect kids to real food.

Community gradenCommunity Gardens

Master Gardeners support community gardens in a number of ways. Some take the lead on communicating with and training community garden members, some lead community Maine Harvest for Hunger efforts, some build and tend community gardens. There are a number of community gardens throughout Penobscot County that could use your support.

Rogers Farm Demonstration Garden, Old Town, MaineDemonstration Gardens

These spaces are a great way for folks to informally learn by seeing sustainable gardening practices being implemented in a public setting. Labeled plants, signage, newsletter articles are all ways a public garden can easily be turned into a beautiful educational tool to help spread gardening knowledge.

Educational display by a Maine Master Gardener VolunteerEducational Displays

UMaine Extension is always looking for friendly volunteers connect with the public at events like the Bangor Garden Show and Maine Harvest Festival. These events are a great way for us to bring Extension resources to a broad audience. Unstaffed displays are also a big hit. We encourage volunteers to consider making an educational display for their town office, local library, or other public space.

Maine Master Gardeners get hands-on trainingPublic Speaking Opportunities

Groups are always looking for fun and engaging gardening workshops. If you enjoy public speaking, we are happy to help you design and deliver a great program.

shrub with red berriesEastern Maine Native Plant Arboretum

Established in 2004, the arboretum is an outdoor classroom for the study of native plant species best suited for managed landscapes. This unique collection of native woody plants is located on the grounds of the UMaine Extension Penobscot County Office at 307 Maine Avenue in Bangor. More information on the Eastern Maine Native Plant Arboretum page.

In return, trainees are expected to volunteer their time and expertise to projects that educate the public and/or address food insecurity in our region.

More Information

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call Kate Garland at 1.800.287.1485 to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least seven days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however, all requests will be considered.