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 10 hours in subsequent years.
Here are just a few examples of local projects:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.