Purpose And History

The Extension Master Gardener (EMG) program is designed to help educate the public about gardening through the use of trained, certified volunteers. The program allows participants to grow by providing them with training in horticulture principles. They, in turn, agree to share their knowledge and help others succeed.

The Cooperative Extension Service created the Master Gardener program. The idea originated in Seattle, Washington, in 1972, and the first regular training program was conducted by Washington State University in the spring of 1973.

The Master Gardener program is administered in Indiana through the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. The program in Indiana officially began in 1978 with four counties: Allen County (Paul Hughes), Lake County (John Begeman), Marion County (Dick Crum) and Vanderburgh County (Allen Boger).


In 2022, there were over 2,700 active Purdue Extension Master Gardener Volunteers in Indiana, and these volunteers contributed more than 157,000 volunteer hours worth more than $4.0 million!  And there were over 450 new Purdue Extension Master Gardener interns trained in 2022.

Impact History 


The Master Gardener Hotline

The Master Gardener Hotline is active Monday, Wednesdays & Fridays from 9AM - 12PM for calls and in-person questions.

You can email the Master Gardeners anytime at lpmastergardeners@gmail.com

If you have a question and wish to bring a sample to your in-person visit, please bring said sample in a closed container or plastic zip lock bag.


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