Master Gardener Program: Marion County

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Contact Us

Carey Grable
Marion County Horticulture Educator
(317) 275-9290


Plant oR Garden Question? 

interested in learning about becoming a Master Gardener?

What's involved? When are classes?

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The Marion County Master Gardeners are a group of trained and certified gardeners who serve the community in volunteer and leadership roles. They serve as garden educators and advocates by educating the public on topics related to gardening.

The Extension Master Gardener (EMG) program is designed to help educate the public about gardening through the use of trained, certified volunteers. The program helps participants to grow by providing them with training in horticulture principles. They, in turn, agree to share their knowledge and help others grow.
The Master Gardener program was created by the Cooperative Extension Service. The idea originated in Seattle, Washington in 1972 and the first regular training program was conducted by Washington State University during 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).

Dick Crum was the Marion County Master Gardener Coordinator from 1978-1996. Steve Mayer served as Marion County Master Gardener Coordinator from 1997-20. 

The Master Gardener program has a significant impact on the community.

According to reports submitted by 307 local Extension Master Gardeners, volunteers spent 22,664.5 hours educating others and impacting communities during 2019. The dollar value of time contributed by these Marion County EMG volunteers in 2019 amounted to $563,212.82. 

Impact of the EMG Program in 2020 is summarized in this report.



Do you have a plant or pest problem in the garden or landscape? Do you need a garden plant or weed identified? Do you have a question about gardening?

Contact the Purdue Extension Master Gardener AnswerLine in Marion County for answers to lawn & garden questions in central Indiana. Digital images of garden plants/weeds/plant problems can be sent free of charge for identification/diagnosis.

Call 317-275-9292 or e-mail

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“The garden demonstrates how to grow food and ornamental plants,” says Steve Mayer, Extension Educator-Horticulture, for Purdue Extension-Marion County. “Gardeners can see and learn about plants adapted to Indiana and how to care for them.” Gardeners can see award-winning All-America Selections (AAS) flowers & vegetables and vegetable gardening techniques like raised beds. It's a place for gardeners to get ideas.

Demo Garden Details


Membership in a Marion County Master Gardener Association is open to anyone who has participated in an approved Extension Master Gardener training program. Complete certification is not necessary prior to membership.

There are currently two Master Gardener associations in Marion County. The Marion County Master Gardener Association (MCMGA) meets during the day and the Garfield Park Master Gardener Association (GPMGA) meets during the evening.

The local Master Gardener associations promote good gardening practices in cooperation with Purdue Extension-Marion County. Membership in one of the associations is encouraged, but not required, to be an active Master Gardener.

Marion County Master Gardener Associations

Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program

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