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NC State Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers

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How to Become an

NC State Extension Master Gardener ℠ Volunteer in Brunswick County

Next  Training Class:  January 2025

Join a network of passionate gardeners in Brunswick County who are dedicated to learning and sharing research-based information, enhancing the communities in which they live through horticulture, and connecting people with the benefits of gardening. Become a Master Gardener℠ volunteer in Brunswick County!

NC State Extension Master Gardener SM volunteers (“EMG”) are essentially an “extension” of NC State Cooperative Extension and NC State University, a North Carolina land-grant institution. They assist in our mission of public outreach and education.

The EMG volunteer training program for Brunswick County is offered once a year.

EMG volunteers:

EMG volunteers complete the following steps to join the program:

Submit An Application

Becoming an EMG volunteer begins with an interview and an accepted application to our local county program.

Learn more about the NC EMG Program application.

The interview/application process will begin in September,  2024.

Upon acceptance into the program, the fee is $225, payable in advance through our Eventbrite site. A hard copy of the textbook “Extension Gardener Handbook” and a companion workbook are included in the fee.

Complete Initial Volunteer Training

Initial training prepares you to be a EMG volunteer. The course introduces a wide range of horticultural topics, with a focus on finding research-based information and sharing the science behind sustainable gardening practices. Initial training includes:

  • Minimum of 75 hours of in-person instruction and homework.
  • The classes will be in-person at the Cooperative Extension Office, 25 Referendum Drive, Building N, Bolivia NC
  • Class dates:  Tuesdays and Fridays, 9a-12p, beginning Tuesday January 14th and ending in Friday March 7th, 2025.
  • Classes are taught by Extension staff and local experts.
  • Topics include, but are not limited to, soils and plant nutrients, turf, insects, diseases, Integrated Pest Management, food production, herbaceous, woody and native plants, wildlife, landscape design, and more.
  • Weekly assignments and Quizzes
  • Take-home or in-class, open-book exam
  • Intern Project

Visit the Extension Gardener Handbook online to explore the training curriculum.

Complete Volunteer Internship

Once initial training is complete, volunteers complete a minimum 40-hour Internship in Brunswick County, to learn even more about horticulture, our local program, and volunteer opportunities, and give back to the community.

During the internship, volunteers rotate through a variety of required volunteer opportunities that support the educational outreach priorities of their local Extension center.

Become Certified

Once the 40-hour internship has been completed the volunteer is eligible to become a Certified Extension Master Gardener volunteer.

Maintain Certification

In order to remain active in the program, Master Gardener volunteers in Brunswick County must meet annual recertification requirements, with a minimum of:

  • 40 hours of volunteer service in Brunswick County and
  • 10 hours of continuing education.

If you are interested in the Program, please complete this form. MG Class of 2025 Interest Form   You will be contacted to begin the application/interview process in September 2024