How to Apply, Training and Fees

Who Can Become a Master Gardener Volunteer?

Everyone who successfully completes the forty-plus hours of training, and volunteers at least 40 hours towards community gardening programs and activities can become a Master Gardener.  The participation fee covers the cost of the reference manual, handouts, and training expenses.

How to Apply

Visit the How to Apply page for more information about registration, course details, and fees for the 2021 Master Gardener Volunteer course.

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.


The purpose of the Master Gardener program is to provide training to prepare you to do gardening-related volunteer work in the local community. After completing the training, you are expected to volunteer at least 40 hours within one year on an already established project.

We are looking for people who would like to volunteer on the following types of community projects:

  • care for and conduct educational outreach from community demonstration gardens,
  • help coordinate a regional effort to grow & deliver food for those in need,
  • help plan and lead public workshops on a relevant gardening topic for small groups,
  • research and answer gardening questions in the Extension Office in Machias, and
  • help raise funds to support our Master Gardener Volunteer program

The focus of this course is on ornamental horticulture, ecological landscaping, and volunteerism.  It will not cover vegetable and fruit production.  If you commit to this program, you are expected to attend at least 80% of the classes and work actively on an approved volunteer project following the course.

Program Fee

County, state, and federal tax dollars and donations do not fully cover the true costs of offering this program. Consequently, we must charge a program fee of $220. Limited scholarships are available.

Payment will be due before the first day of class, but other arrangements can be made if necessary.

The University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, 207.581.1226.

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call Marjorie Peronto at 1.800.287.1542 (in Maine) 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.