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Become a Henrico Master Gardener Volunteer

Master Gardeners

Volunteer involvement is one of the most important and unique aspects of Virginia Cooperative Extension. This is in keeping with Extension's philosophy that active citizen participation in planning and implementation insures program success. Volunteers are a valuable resource and an integral part of education mission of Extension.

Master Gardeners provide a resource for all Extension program areas and for professionals from many other agencies. They provide our community with locally identified programs, including answers to individual questions via hotlines and plant clinics; radio, newspaper, and computer links; educational programs to meet targeted needs; and guidance in making the natural environment accessible to all residents regardless of disabilities, incomes, or where they live.

What is a Henrico Master Gardener?

A Henrico Master Gardener is an individual who acts on behalf of the Henrico Extension Office as a volunteer within our community after receiving specialized training in environmental horticulture through cooperative programming with VCE.

Am I Master Gardener Material?

Are you looking for a way to improve Henrico through volunteer service? Do you enjoy teaching and taking to the public? Do you have an interest in horticulture? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, Henrico Master Gardener volunteer opportunities may be right for you?

What is required to become a Henrico Master Gardener?

To become a Henrico Master Gardener, individuals must attend at least 50 hours of classroom instruction and then contribute a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service conducting VCE horticulture-based, education programs. These initial 100 hours must be completed in one year. At the end of the year they have earned the title of Henrico Master Gardeners.

Henrico Master Gardeners who desire to remain active after completing their initial training and volunteer commitments are required to contribute at least 20 hours of volunteer service each year. Additionally, in order keep knowledge up-to-date, Henrico Master Gardeners must participate in at least 12 hours of continuing education training annually.

OK, I'm interested! Now what do I do?

New class format for 2024!

Classes are scheduled starting Wednesday, January 10, 2024 to the end of March.

Tuesdays will be a virtual class.  You can participate live when the class is offered virtually from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or view the posted recording at a time convenient to you.

Wednesdays will be an in-person class.  The class will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m at the Henrico Extension Office at 8600 Dixon Powers Dr., Henrico, 23228.  There is no virtual or recording of the in-person class.

Additionally there are scheduled three optional in-person Saturday workshops.  Information about these workshops will be shared at the orientation session.

For our 2024 training program, the fees will be $175, due upon acceptance, no later than Friday, December 15, 2023.  The fee includes a digitial copy of the Virginia Extension Master Gardener Handbook.   A printed copy of the Handbook is available for an additional fee and information on obtaining the printed copy will be provided upon acceptance.

Applications: Online applications will be available beginning Sept 1, 2023 at this webpage.

Click here to Apply! (Note: link will be deactivated on Monday, October 16, 2023.)

Please Note:

  • Henrico County residents receive preference in the application process.
  • Please review the training dates and times.  We receive applications every year from applicants that are not available during the training times.  

Our timeline for the application process is as follows: (timeline will be updated for 2024 training in September '23)

  • September 1 - Applications are able to be completed on-line in our volunteer management system - Better lmpact. Applications can not be saved in-process, so please allow approx. 15-20 minutes to complete. You will also need the name and contact information for two non-family references. During this process, you will create a login and password for the Better lmpact system. Please write these down and safely save them for later use if accepted into the program. 
  • October 16, 2023 - The application window closes and all applications and reference letters must be received by this date. 
  • October 30, 2023 - You will receive an email with dates and times to select for phone interviews that will be scheduled the week of November 6-10, 2023.
  • November 6-10, 2023 - Phone interviews conducted.  Applications are then reviewed by a committee of Henrico Master Gardeners and Virginia Cooperative Extension Staff.
  • Monday, November 20, 2023 - Applicants are notified of their acceptance status.
  • Friday, December 15 - Program fee is submitted by this date; required background checks are completed,
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - Classes begin.

Contact the Henrico Extension office at (804) 501-5160.