Welcome Master Gardener Volunteer Applicant

Thank you for your interest in the Master Gardener Volunteer Program through the University of Florida, Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension Services (UF/IFAS Extension) in Lee County.  

Before you dive into the application, please take the time to read through the following information to decide if this program is a fit for you.  

 

FLORIDA MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER PROGRAM 

With the vision of being the most trusted source of horticultural education in Florida, the Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) assist Extension agents in providing research-based horticultural education to county residents and community organizations.  

MGVs represent UF/IFAS Extension and their counties’ residential horticulture programs in their communities. They lead, advise, and support active and educational projects. MGVs guide tours in botanical and estate gardens and advise teachers at school and community gardens. They hold leadership roles within community-supported agriculture ventures and youth development programs. They present educational programs to civic, social, and environmental organizations while advocating for natural resources, ecological balance, and best management practices in many horticultural activities.  

LEE COUNTY MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER PROGRAM 

The MGV program in Lee County follows the Florida state model in recruiting individuals who enjoy gardening and sharing what they know with others. The training begins with a 12-week course that reviews gardening and landscaping principles and introduces the flow of information from research to public dissemination through UF/IFAS Extension. The year after finishing the course, MGV trainees donate 75 volunteer hours and complete 10 educational hours each to become UF/IFAS Certified Master Gardener Volunteers. The MGV program requires 35 volunteer hours and 10 educational hours per year to maintain active certification.  

 

THE MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER TRAINING COURSE 

The 12-week lecture series and hands-on training course fully immerses MGV trainees in the researched-based Florida Friendly Landscaping Principles. UF/IFAS Extension Agents, Extension Research Faculty, and seasoned Certified MGVs teach online and in person. The curriculum starts with basic botany for gardeners and expands to essentials of landscape design. It includes topics such as plant identification, propagation, plant health and diseases, mutualism with insects and fungi, soils, fertilizers, pesticide & herbicide safety, turfgrass, ornamental plants, edible plants, trees, palms, orchids, and more. 

The course is designed with Lee County’s unique environment and population profile in mind. It starts in an online format to accommodate the heat of summer and transient residents. It finishes with boots on the ground and hands in the dirt. Using an educational platform from late August to mid-October, MGV trainees are taught foundational principles with online videos, activities, and discussions. Remote meetings review each week’s topics. The second half of the course brings all MGV trainees together at Berne Davis Gardens in Fort Myers, where the curriculum goes deeper into specific topics through in-person lectures, field trips, hands-on lab activities, and Q&A discussions with experts. A final exam completes the course the week before Thanksgiving.  

 

The exact days and times are TBD. The syllabus and itinerary will be available by June 30 and emailed to every eligible MGV applicant.

Tuition for the MGV training course is $275.00, due a week before the training course. It includes the Florida Master Gardener Program Student Manual, Botany in a Day, and all lab materials.  

 

MGV VOLUNTEERING IN LEE COUNTY 

Lee County Parks and Recreation (Parks) and UF/IFAS Extension enjoy a cooperative agreement, in which UF/IFAS Extension serves Lee County residents through programs in agriculture and natural resources, marine education, 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Sciences, commercial and residential horticulture. 

Lee County MGVs are concurrent volunteers for Parks and accumulate volunteer perks from Parks. Certified MGVs and MGV trainees join existing projects within UF/IFAS Extension programs and/or represent the Extension within outside events and organizations. 

Below is a sampling of organizations where MGVs give generously with educational support and outreach activities.

 

  • UF/IFAS Extension Office MGV Plant and Insect Diagnosis Desk 
  • UF/IFAS Florida Friendly Landscaping Seminars for HOAs and Residents.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS 

Create an account below to apply to the Lee County MGV training course and program by June 16. After the deadline, a committee of MGVs and Extension personnel will interview eligible candidates and choose a cohort of 30 MGV trainees. All applicants will be notified by the end of July.  

The MGV program is very popular across Florida. Unfortunately, the course is limited to about 30 MGV trainees from Lee County. Please consider the obligation involved in obtaining and maintaining MGV certification carefully. 

 

Filling out the form takes about 20 minutes. You will be asked to agree with three statments, the 2024 Annual Agreement, the Policies for MGVs, and a short Application Submission Statement. Use the links to download the documents and read them before submitting the application.

 

All THE BEST! 

I am new to MyImpactPage.com

You will need to enter a unique username to identify yourself to the system. You should select something that is easy for you to remember such as your email address or your name. Your username must be at least 6 characters long. If the name you enter is already in use by someone else, you will be prompted to choose another username.
Required
Username must not start with space
Username must not end with space
Username must not have two or more spaces in a row
Required
Required

I already have a username

If you have signed up with this organization before, or are a member of another organization that uses MyImpactPage.com, you can use the same login to access all organizations with which you are associated.
Required
Required
Forgot your username or password?
Already use MyImpactPage.com to volunteer with this organization?
Go to volunteer login

It appears that you do not have cookies enabled, cookies are required to use this site. Please see this document for details on how to fix this error.
Some scripts that are essential to this site have not loaded correctly. Please contact your organization administrator for assistance with this error.