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15 Master Gardener Basic Training: Volunteer Guidelines & Opportunities


Master Gardener Class Assignments

The assignments for this session are listed under "Related Files."

In addition, please read the Purdue Master Gardener Program Policy Guide if you have not already.

Expectations of Purdue Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Volunteers

Pest Information Policy and the Expectations for Volunteer Behavior

  • Master Gardener volunteers should follow these guidelines, as mentioned in the MG Policy Guide.

Master Gardener Minors Certification

  • Before you volunteer with youth as a Master Gardener, you must go through the Master Gardener Minors Certification. This is recommended for all Master Gardener volunteers, and it is REQUIRED for any volunteer who has direct contact with youth at events or programs. Going through this brief certification will ensure your participation in any event where children are present. The online certification process takes an average of about 15 minutes to complete.
  • New Master Gardener Interns should plan to complete this training in January. Contact Carey ( for the online link. Then go to the web page and download the hyperlinked document after the first brown box. Answer the questions on that web page, read the document, and then answer the rest of the questions about the document. If you have questions, send an e-mail to:

Master Gardener Vehicle Use Policy

Supplemental Reading and Resources

Purdue Master Gardener Manual, Chapter on Helping Others Grow

Purdue Master Gardener Program Policy Guide and MG Volunteer Agreement Form (see office for current version)

Purdue MG Links: Online and offline resources are listed here according to the chapter topics in the Purdue Master Gardener Manual.

Local MG Program Website: Purdue Extension-Marion County Master Gardener Program (

State MG Program Website: Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program

Other Guidelines

  • Travel time can be counted in Master Gardener volunteer activities. However, it is NOT allowed for Master Gardener education (training) activities.
  • Initial Master Gardener certification should be completed within two years from the last day of class (on the last day of the month - December 31 in Marion County)
  • Teaching a neighbor how to prune trees counts as volunteer hours. However, pruning trees for them does NOT count.
  • Hours for volunteer activities and hours for education (training) activities should NOT be combined each year for a grand total. Always keep them separate.
  • For MG recertification each year, 6 educational (training) hours and 12 volunteer hours are required.
  • Record educational contacts in these 3 main categories: Seminars/Presentations, Youth Programs, and Answering Horticulture Questions. However, do NOT record educational contacts in these 2 main categories: Demonstration & Community Gardens and MG Associations/Group Administration.

Reporting Master Gardener Hours in Marion County

Master Gardener Badge Request Form

Marion County Master Gardener Associations

Master Gardener Web Pages

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Master Gardener AnswerLine
    • Purdue Extension Master Gardeners and Interns should provide unbiased information to the general public with no intended endorsement of specific products, companies, or services. Master Gardeners make recommendations in the area of home yards and gardens. Questions about commercial crops or plants should be referred to a Purdue Extension Educator. If you have questions about the AnswerLine, contact Carey ( To sign up for a shift, call 317-275-9292.
  • Purdue Extension-Marion County Demonstration Garden
    • If you have questions about volunteering in the demonstration garden or wish to be added to the volunteer e-mail list, please contact Carey (


Related Files

Master Gardener Web Assignment 15
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