UGA Extension Office

Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program

About the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) Program

The mission of the Georgia MGEV Program is to assist UGA Extension in providing consumer horticulture information and services to Georgia communities.

Master Gardeners are trained volunteers with unique skills and abilities, who share a love of plants, gardens, and an enthusiasm for learning. Master Gardeners teach community members how to use plants and gardening to improve the environment, personal health, and quality of life. Master Gardeners are representatives of UGA Extension and are crucial to the work we do in Chatham County. Chatham Master Gardeners serve in a variety of ways:

  • Sharing information about plants and gardening at community events
  • Answering home gardening and plant-related questions through our Master Gardener Helpdesk
  • Teaching gardening workshops or delivering horticultural presentations to various audiences
  • Introducing youth to the joy and wonder of plants
  • Demonstrating sustainable garden management practices in prominent community locations, such as Bonaventure Cemetery and the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens
  • Preparing media content, such as articles for newspapers, websites, or social media, about timely plant-related topics and UGA Extension resources

Volunteers benefit from the training, networking with other garden enthusiasts, and the opportunity to serve their communities. Master Gardeners say the friendships they make and experiences they have while volunteering together are among the most rewarding aspects of the program.

This program is ideal for individuals who have the time and dedication to make an impact in their community through volunteer service. Prior gardening experience is not a requirement, but a passion for learning and sharing horticulture is essential!

Chatham Master Gardener Website Graphics - 6
  • Speakers Bureau
    Speakers Bureau
  • Gardening with Youth
    Gardening with Youth
  • Great Southeast Pollinator Census
    Great Southeast Pollinator Census
  • Ask a Master Gardener Booth
    Ask a Master Gardener Booth
  • 2023 Chatham Master Gardener Trainees
    2023 Chatham Master Gardener Trainees
  • Master Gardener Helpdesk
    Master Gardener Helpdesk
  • Demonstration Gardens
    Demonstration Gardens

Becoming a Chatham County Master Gardener

Step 1: Application & Selection

Space in the annual training course is limited, and participants are selected based on their interest in being an Extension volunteer, their interest in community service, as well as their knowledge, expertise, and experience in related areas. Selected applicants will complete an interview, reference check, and background screening before being approved for the program.

Step 2: Training & Assessment

The Master Gardener Training Course prepares selected MGEV Trainees for their volunteer role. Trainees complete a minimum 50 hours of horticultural training consisting of lectures and hands-on activities. Participants also receive a copy of the 8th Edition Georgia Master Gardener Handbook.

To pass the course and continue in the program, Trainees must receive a course average of 70% or higher. Attendance, participation, quizzes, and tests contribute to the course average. Quizzes and tests for the course are conducted using the online classroom software eLearning Commons (eLC).

Step 3: Volunteer Service

Within the first year after training, the MGEV Trainee completes 50 hours of volunteer service. After completing 50 hours on Extension-approved projects, the Trainee is recognized as an official Master Gardener Extension Volunteer and receives a certificate of their title achievement.

To remain a current, active MGEV, volunteers complete at least 25 hours of volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education each year and track their accomplishments using an online record-keeping system.

Notice for out-of-county applicants:

The Chatham Master Gardener program is open to residents of surrounding counties. However, Trainees are expected to complete their volunteer service within Chatham County on Extension-approved projects.

2024 Training Course

Each Wednesday, January 24th-May 15th, 2024

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Classes are held in-person at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah, GA
Course fee: $275.00, includes the 8th Edition of the Georgia Master Gardener Handbook


If you would like to become a Chatham County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer, please fill out the contact form below to be notified of future training opportunities.

Topics Covered in the Training Course

Introduction to Cooperative Extension

Introduction to the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) Program

Serving as an MGEV

Gardening with Youth

Basic Botany

Plant Physiology: Growth and Development


Basic Entomology

Basic Plant Pathology

Plant Propagation

Principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Weed Science

Nuisance Wildlife

Principles of Organic Gardening


Water-Smart Landscaping

Landscape Site Analysis, Installation, and Maintenence

Urban Trees and Woody Ornamentals

Annuals and Perennials

Native Plants and Urban Ecology

Invasive Plants

Home Fruit Production

Vegetable & Herb Gardening


Troubleshooting and Researching Plant Problems

Interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer? Fill out this form!