The purpose of the volunteer requirement is to extend MSU Extension’s educational programs in horticulture, gardening and small- scale food production. To be certified as an Extension Master Gardener (EMG), trainees must complete a minimum of 40 volunteer hours educating others through preapproved volunteer projects related to horticulture and gardening. The trainee will have 12 months following the last class in which to complete and report in the Volunteer Management System (VMS) the required 40 volunteer hours. Activities that count toward Extension Master Gardener certification must have educational value for others and be nonpaying for the EMG.
Volunteer hours need to focus on educating others about:
- Environmental stewardship.
- Improving community.
- Growing food.
- Youth gardening.
MSU Extension will work with community partners to identify local volunteer opportunities meaningful to individual EMG trainees and to certified EMGs wishing to remain active.
Students should contribute their time to community activities related to horticulture education, such as going into an elementary school and exploring the fascinating world of plants with children; gardening with victims of domestic violence who are living in shelters; using horticulture therapy with elderly people or building community raised beds for people who use wheelchairs.
Approval by the local Extension Master Gardener coordinator must be obtained before trainees engage in any volunteer activity that will be counted toward the 40-hour requirement.