Purdue Master Gardener Logo

Initial Master Gardener Certification in Marion County

The following are required for initial Master Gardener certification: 1) Attend all of the classes in a training program, 2) Pass a final exam, and 3) Complete the required volunteer hours within two years from the date of the last training session.

The Purdue Master Gardener program requires a MINIMUM of at least 35 volunteer hours. Due to the additional training sessions in the Marion County program, the required number of volunteer hours for certification in Marion County is 50. After completing the volunteer requirements, Master Gardener Interns will receive a certificate from Purdue University through the local Purdue Extension office that verifies completion of the Purdue Master Gardener Program requirements.

Annual Volunteer Requirements

Once an individual has completed the necessary requirements and is a certified Purdue Master Gardener, that does not mean he or she is a Purdue Master Gardener for life. Purdue Master Gardeners must satisfy specific requirements each year to maintain the Purdue Master Gardener title and remain eligible to volunteer and participate in official Purdue Master Gardener activities and events.

To remain active each year, a Purdue Master Gardener must: 1) Volunteer a minimum of 12 hours each year and report that activity to the local Purdue Extension office, and 2) Complete and report a minimum of 6 hours of approved educational training.

Additional levels of Master Gardener certification are available (see page 7 of the Program Policy Guide).

Lapse in Volunteer Activity

Life circumstances sometimes will cause volunteers to be unable to meet the minimum volunteer activity and educational training hours. Below are the requirements to recertify.

If there is a lapse in service of four years or less from the last active reporting year, the volunteer will be required to: 1) Purchase the Purdue Master Gardener Manual (if not previously obtained or if the material has been updated since last active in the program), 2) Submit a signed volunteer agreement, 3) Provide evidence of a government-issued photo ID, and 4) Be subject to the annual sex and violent offender registry checks to become active in the program.

If there is a lapse in service of more than four years from the last active reporting year, the Purdue Master Gardener volunteer will be required to: 1) Retake the Purdue Master Gardener Basic Training, 2) Purchase any updated Purdue Master Gardener manuals or materials, 3) Retake and pass the Purdue Master Gardener Basic Training exam with a score of 70 percent or more, 4) Submit a signed Purdue Master Gardener Volunteer Application and Agreement, and 5) Provide evidence of a government-issued photo ID, and 6) Be subject to the annual sex and violent offender registry checks.