UGA Extension Office

Athens Area Master Gardener Association

Athens Area Master Gardener flower logoThe Athens Area Master Gardener Association (AAMGA) is an organization devoted to providing information to the gardening public, assisting with community horticultural practices, helping Master Gardeners fulfill their commitment of volunteer hours as well as advancing  members' horticultural education through meetings and educational activities.  Monthly meetings are held at 6:00 pm on the third Tuesday of each month.  Meeting location varies, please check the AAMGA newsletter, The Garden Dirt, for updates.

AAMGA Membership Information

If you are interested in joining the Athens Area Master Gardener Association please contact Kay Petroff for an application or more information.  You may also contact Dr. Laura Ney, Athens-Clarke County Extension Agent, at (706) 613-3640.  Yearly dues are $10 for active Master Gardeners and $20 for friends of the association.  Dues must be received by January 1st each year to remain in the association.  Membership in an association is not required to be a Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer.   

Ongoing AAMGA Projects

Athens-Clarke Plant-a-Row:  Volunteers plant, maintain, and harvest fruits and vegetables for donation to local food banks.  Contact Merry Anderson or Pam Bracken for more information.

Oconee Plant-a-Row:  Volunteers plant, maintain, and harvest vegetables for donation to the ACTION Agency in Bishop which provides assistance to low-income seniors in Oconee County.  This garden currently grows warm season crops only.  Contact Gary Wade at or Bob Quinn.

Athens-Clarke County Extension Office Master Gardener desk:  Volunteers assist the County Agent with homeowner plant, insect and disease questions.  This is a great learning experience.  For more information, contact Laura Ney at (706) 613-3640 or

Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) Community Garden:  Located on Hoyt Street near downtown Athens, ACCA has a community garden that supports meal programs for low income families as well as adult day care meals.  Volunteers maintain the garden year-round.  Contact Alex Miles at for more information.

Piedmont Athens Regional Pollinator Garden:  Located adjacent to the Piedmont Athens Regional Loran Smith Healing Garden,  this garden of primarily native plants is a retreat for pollinators, hospital patients and their families, and neighborhood residents.  Volunteers for Piedmont partner on workdays to maintain the garden.  Contact Janis Hanna-Fluharty, for more information.

Dudley Park Bat Garden: In collaboration with ACC Parks and the State Botanical Garden, Athens Area Master Gardeners are designing and installing native plant, pollinator landscapes around the bat boxes in Dudley park in Athens, GA.  These landscapes are made up of plants, primarily pollinated by "night" insects, which will encourage bats to establish residence in the three bat boxes, around which the landscapes are being designed. Contact Ariel Gordon for more information.

ACC Extension Office Demonstration Garden: The 10,000+ square foot garden being installed at the new Athens-Clarke County Extension office will serve as a beautiful and inviting public garden, as well as a demonstration of best gardening practices.  The garden will provide opportunities for public education and hands-on learning.  Water-wise gardening, encouraging pollinators and other beneficial insects, proper pruning, vegetable and small fruit gardening and heritage seed saving are just a few of the themes that will be found within the garden.  Contact John Aitkins or Kristi Sego at for additional information. 

J.J. Harris Elementary School Garden Club:  The purpose of this Garden Club is to increase young people's understanding and enthusiasm for gardening and the natural world by providing hands-on opportunities to plan and grow gardens with a variety of purposes such as vegetable, pollinator, and herbal. For more information, contact Debora Ondracek.

21st Century Program Hilsman Middle School Garden: This project provides an opportunity for experiential learning in the areas of gardening, sustainable development, waster conservation, composting, and leadership by increasing middle school student’s awareness and understand of the value of horticulture and leadership. For more information, contact Rita Mathew.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

  • Plant and Bulb Sales: Each spring AAMGA holds two plant sales.  All plants at the sale are grown by our local Master Gardeners.  The first plant sale typically takes place on the last Saturday of April from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Athens-Clarke County Extension office.  The second is at the Winterville Marigold Festival. The third sale focuses on Dazzling Daffodils and other Spring-flowering Beauties. This annual bulb sale usually includes deer-resistant daffodils, crocuses, bluebells, and irises. Proceeds from the plant sales fund Master Gardener projects such as Plant a Row for the Hungry and scholarship opportunities. 
  • Athens Farmers Market Master Gardener Booth: Volunteers answer market patron questions, primarily centering on vegetable and fruit gardening.  For questions contact Laura Ney at
  • State Botanical Garden of Georgia: Volunteers help in a variety of garden areas including curated gardens, greenhouses, native plants and the Ask a Master Gardener desk.  Contact Andrea Fischer at (706) 542-6195 or
  • UGA Horticulture Farm: Volunteers help with the vegetable farm.  Contact B J Garrett.
  • UGA Trial Garden: Volunteers help with garden and plant care.  Contact B J Garrett.
  • GreenLife Expo: This annual community event offers numerous volunteer opportunities including an Ask a Master Gardener booth, newspaper pot making activity and a farm animal demonstration area.  Contact Laura Ney at

AAMGA 2022-2023 Executive Board & Other Association Leadership

  • President: Andrea Fischer
  • Vice President: Jean Ryan
  • Secretary: Debora Ondracek
  • Treasurer: Sky Campbell
  • Immediate Past President: Pamela Bracken
  • Athens-Clarke County Extension Agent: Laura Ney
  • Newsletter Publisher and Listserv Coordinator: Elizabeth Thurmond
  • Project Chairperson: Merry Anderson