UGA Extension Office

School Master Gardener

School Master Gardener


School Master Gardener is a training program developed and managed to prepare teachers to lead hands-on learning experiences for their students. The first class trained in the summer of 2003 and since then we have trained groups of leaders from 34 DeKalb County Schools (public and private). Our goals are: to improve outdoor education through hands-on learning and improve the visual appeal of our schools and their grounds.

Members of the training partnership include: Fernbank Science Center and the DeKalb County Board of Education, DeKalb Extension and the University of Georgia, Stone Mountain Park and many individual educators.

Once accepted, you and your leadership group will learn how to teach engaging K-12 lessons utilizing the new Georgia GPS’s in your outdoor classroom. Each day you will learn new gardening and landscaping techniques tailored to the needs of your local school. Upon completion, you will earn 5 PLU’s as you master this hands-on training that is full of interdisciplinary curricula. Then, to fully meet your master gardener requirements you must complete and report the mandatory 50 hours of volunteer service working at your school with your students and the community.

To view a course agenda, an application and the rubric used to select the top groups of qualifiers, visit the web site for Fernbank Science Center, listed as For specific questions contact: (404) 298-4080 for further information or contact Fernbank Science Center at (678) 874-7102


A 3-5 member team from your school which includes at least two (2) teachers can apply. Other team members could be faculty, parents, PTA members, custodians or anyone interested in assisting with an on-going, hands-on gardening or landscaping activity that educates students and beautifies the school grounds.


A well taught, well organized master gardener curriculum adapted to meet Georgia Performance Standards


Fernbank Science Center
156 Heaton Park Dr., N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30307 
(except on days where we go on outside field trips)


1 (One Friday a month during a school Year (Dates will be disclosed later)


The course assists schools that are tackling outdoor classrooms without the knowledge and resources to do it successfully. This training will improve your success, student self-confidence and mastery of state GPS’s while also improving results of standardized tests.


It has averaged $150 per team/per year but that can change dependent upon the availability of outside funding (grants). Fees help to pay for Master Gardener's text book, course supplies and many extra resources that are distributed throughout the training period.


Tentative Planning Calendar

·         Team applications due each year by late February to early March, as posted on Fernbank Science Center website.

·         Teams are selected at the end of March to early April. We try to keep the class size at 15 to 20 so we usually end up with a maximum of five (5) schools.

·         Report volunteer hours to Extension office early December each year.

·         By April 1, each leader should have completed their required 50 hour minimum of school service and reported it to Extension.

·         School Recognition & Awards Ceremony to recognize new graduates and to thank leaders that continue to volunteer occurs mid- April. Some 2003 graduates are still active and reporting their efforts.

·         Call (404) 298-4080 for further information or contact Fernbank Science Center at (678) 874-7102