Applications to become a University of Minnesota Extension Service Master Gardener are being accepted now through Oct. 1.

Gardening enthusiasts in Redwood County are encouraged to apply.

Extension Master Gardeners bring science-based horticulture knowledge and practices to Minnesota, promoting healthy landscapes and building communities through volunteer efforts.

Master Gardener volunteers are respected as reliable sources of gardening information for Minnesotans.

Becoming a Master Gardener gives volunteers a chance to expand their interests in areas including sustainability, local foods, pollinators as well as climate change. 

Master Gardeners also put their skills to work conserving green spaces, native plants and clean water.

The University of Minnesota has trained thousands of Master Gardeners. They come from all ages and backgrounds.

Each year, they contribute more than 140,000 hours of service in Minnesota communities.

This year, the training will be all online and spread out over 14 weeks, making the program more student-friendly than ever.

To become a Master Gardener, individuals commit to complete online training and 50 hours of volunteering in the first year. After the first year, they commit 25 hours to annual volunteer work; many choose to devote more time to the program.

Currently, Redwood County does not have a local leadership group to coordinate volunteer activities. To provide access to Redwood County residents interested in becoming Master Gardeners, a statewide volunteer group option is being introduced. Those individuals become a certified volunteer-at-large.

Learn more about becoming a Master Gardener by visiting extension.umn.edu/.