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 the 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).
Also, 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 the Purdue Extension office in Whitley County at 260-244-7615 or email@example.com. 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. We will be meeting virtually via Zoom until further notice.
We want you! Become a Master Gardener - watch a 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 Appendix B (also available below under "Related Files")
- Annual agreement for current Master Gardeners: see Appendix C (normally done through online system)
June 19: Whitley County Master Gardeners' Garden Walk - Master Gardeners’ Garden Walk is ON again for 2021! Event participants will view gardens north of Columbia City in the areas of north 350 West, Old Lake, and Crooked Lake. Purchase tickets at the Extension office, the Posey Patch, or Whitley County Farmers’ Market. The cost is $8 presale or $10 the day of the event.
- July 20: Gardening Seminars at the Whitley County 4-H Fair and Education Table (Ag Museum) - plan to join us for informative garden seminars on July 20, at 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm. These educational opportunities are brought to you by Whitley County Master Gardeners. While you are at the fair, also take time to view, enjoy, and learn from the educational demonstration gardens maintained by Whitley County Master Gardener volunteers. Their efforts help make our fairgrounds a beautiful place! The theme for this year's seminars is "Master Gardeners-Learning and Serving in Our Communities."
1:00 p.m. Alan Boggs - Myths, Mistakes, and Musings of a Landscape Gardener
2:00 p.m. Duane Janssen - Senior Center Vegetable Garden, Year 2
3:00 p.m. Rachel Alexander - Giving Gardens of Indiana
Additionally, Master Gardeners will be manning an education table in the Ag Museum from 9-4 on July 20. Come visit us and bring your gardening questions!