The Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program is an integral part of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and provides the residents of Indiana a chance to grow. Under the guidance and support of Purdue Extension, selected residents of a county voluntarily begin a training program specifically designed to prepare them to help others grow.
The program provides a learning framework for participants to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects.
When these volunteers complete the 14- to 16-week Basic Training program (one 3-hour class per week) and pass an examination (at least a 70% score), they are then identified by the county and Purdue as Master Gardener Interns. The Master Gardener Interns are expected to complete 35 volunteer service hours, representing the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. They help others grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within their communities, under the guidance of the local Program Coordinator.
When the minimum volunteer commitment has been fulfilled, volunteers are then certified as Master Gardeners. Master Gardeners remain active by completing six hours of educational training and twelve hours of volunteer service per year. Advanced levels of certification are offered to help with recognition and retention of volunteers.
If you are interested in more information about the Master Gardener Program, refer to the general Purdue Master Gardener Program informational brochure (Purdue publication HO-184: pdf).
In addition, if you would like local information or are part of a local community group that would like to have a Master Gardener teach your group about a gardening topic, please contact Purdue Extension office in Whitley County at 260-244-7615 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow plenty of time to make arrangements.
Whitley County Master Gardeners typically meet on the first Thursday of each month starting at 6:30 p.m. Most months we will meet in a downstairs meeting room of Parkview Whitley Hospital. Go in main entrance past front desk to elevator or stairs, then down to basement.
We want you! Become a Master Gardener - watch short video.
Master Gardeners of Whitley County (local association website)
Report Education or Volunteer Hours in Master Gardener Manager (online reporting system)
- Purdue Master Gardener Program Policy Guide (MG-5-W) Revised Oct. 2019, policies effective Jan. 1, 2020
- New volunteer application: see pp. 13-15
- Annual agreement for current Master Gardeners: see pp. 16-18 (normally done through online system)
Master Gardener Basic Training: September 8-Dec. 21.
Access Purdue Master Gardener Policy Guide (above)
Fill out the volunteer application on pp. 13-15
Submit to Extension office by Aug. 15. Show your picture identification (driver's license) to Extension office staff.
- You will be instructed on next steps from there