Welcome to The Ohio State University Wood County Master Gardener Volunteer Program

The OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio resident who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Wood County residents through the Wood County OSU Extension office.  Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must!

 Working with county Extension personnel, Master Gardener Volunteers provide such educational services to their communities as: answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons; beautifying the community; developing community or demonstration gardens; and other horticultural activities.

We are Ohio State University Extension trained volunteers empowered to educate others with timely research-based gardening information.

Our initiatives:
Integrated pest management (focuses on teaching and demonstrating IPM techniques in the garden and landscape)

Invasive species (focuses on teaching our clientele about the potential damage that invasive species might cause to the environment, and managing/eradicating invasive species)

Backyard and local foods (focuses on community gardens, local food councils/policies, urban agriculture/farms, and teaching and demonstrating how to grow vegetables)

Environmental horticulture (focuses on a wide variety of horticulture programs including storm water management, rain gardens, good plant selection practices, demonstration gardens, and more)
How did the Master Gardener Volunteer Program originate?    
The Master Gardener program originated in Seattle, Washington in 1972.  The Extension Educator in the King County office of the Washington State Extension Service began to train and utilize the expertise of volunteers in order to more effectively reach the gardening public with research-based educational information.  It was a great concept that has now spread across the United States, Canada and to other countries.
The Master Gardener program in Ohio has existed since the late 1970s and has grown steadily.  Although it's initial start and growth was in the more urban counties of our state, there are now more than 3000 active Master Gardener volunteers in more than 62 Ohio counties, urban, suburban and rural.
How do I know if I'd make a good Master Gardener Volunteer?
 You could qualify to be a Wood County Master Gardener if:
• You want to learn more about plants and gardening.
• You are eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program.
 • You enjoy sharing your knowledge with others.
 • You have the time to attend training and serve your community as a volunteer educator.
When is Master Gardener Volunteer training conducted?
The Wood County Master Gardener Volunteer program facilitates one cohort a year. Tentative start date will be early in the 2021 year, exact dates to be determined. While the 2020 class is currently occurring, you are welcome to apply for 2021!   Contact Nick Eckel, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, 419-354-9050  eckel.21@osu.edu

Is there a fee for Master Gardener Volunteer training?
Yes, there is a fee for Master Gardener Volunteer training.  The fee covers the cost of training materials and other expenses the county may incur to conduct training and to help support educational activities.  Fees vary from county to county. 

Is there more after the initial training?
Yes, volunteers can recertify by obtaining 10 advanced training credits each year as well as complete the number of volunteer hours required by the county (this varies from program to program).  In addition, there is a $10.00 state support fee due each year; some counties also charge dues for membership.  Completing a fingerprint background check is required.

Please contact Nick Eckel at 419-354-9050 or eckel.21@osu.edu with The Ohio State University Wood County Extension office for further information about the Wood County Master Gardener Volunteer Program.