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Program-Specific & Volunteer Resources - Master Gardener Volunteer Tool Kit

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General MGV Policy Information

The Volunteer Background check form should be filled out before beginning any volunteer work, preferably during your new MGV session

  • 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 that 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.
  • Effective April 18, 2016, there is a new system that allows volunteers to submit their own background check form electronically without having to send in paper releases. Verified Credentials, Inc. has provided the University of Maine System with a secure URL for users to enter their information and electronically submit the release to our office for processing.
  • Before a background screening can be processed, a request will need to be submitted by the MGV coordinator. This can be found at this secure URL.
  • For programs that have a high volume of employees/volunteers in a given month, please feel free to forward the names of the employees/volunteers to Ann Marie Michaud. The email should include the names, the department, and the chartfield the screening will be charged to. Please continue to forward the background screening release link to the employees.
  • Background Check procedure for UMaine Cooperative Extension Volunteers (Word) (This file is located on the MyCampus Portal and is password protected. When accessing Portal documents, you need to be logged into the MyCampus Portal using your gmail login info. Another way to get to this file is to go to Extension’s Community on the Portal at https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/um-cooperative-extension/file-exchange, then navigate to General, then to this file.)

Please be aware that 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.

ALSO REQUIRED

The forms below are part of the yearly re-enrollment process for existing Master Gardener Volunteers.

Master Gardener Hours

  • Any volunteer time accepted or approved by the local Master Gardener coordinator (UMaine Extension staff in charge of the local program) counts as volunteer hours. UMaine Extension program coordinators may request some of the volunteer’s time be spent on a specific project or type of volunteer project.
  • Attendance at educational programs where Master Gardener Volunteers are receiving further training does not count as volunteer hours.
  • Travel time to and from a volunteer activity counts toward volunteer hours.

Any questions regarding what constitutes volunteer time should be directed to the local Master Gardener Volunteers Program coordinator.

Continuing Certification

Master Gardener Volunteers who wish to remain certified and active in the program must continue to volunteer at least 20 hours per year. There is no fee for continuing as a Master Gardener Volunteers Program. Master Gardener Volunteers may make arrangements with the coordinator for a temporary leave of absence.

Report Volunteer Hours

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Purchase a Master Gardener Volunteers T-Shirt

Cotton short-sleeve t-shirts are quality weight 6.1 ounce with the Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers logo on the front and the Maine food systems image on the back. Unisex. Choose color and size. $16 and up. Order online.

Additional Resources


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