Master Gardener Program

What is the Cornell University Master Gardener Volunteer Program?
Master Gardeners are a group of volunteers trained by Cornell Cooperative Extension to perform community outreach in horticulture and gardening. The mission of Cornell University's Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is to extend research-based horticultural information to the communities of Westchester County. Volunteers attend an intensive 75 hour training course over a 10 week period followed by a 100 hour volunteer commitment over the next two years. The Master Gardener Training is not a credential or formal certificate program.

How do Master Gardeners volunteer their time?Master Gardeners conduct public outreach through:

  • A Home Garden Lecture Series consisting of a series of six monthly lectures given by local horticulture experts
  • Lectures to garden clubs and other groups through our Speakers' Bureau
  • Writing gardening Q&A articles for the Journal News
  • Answering gardening questions at local farmers’ markets and other events
  • Performing site visits for homeowners to give cultural advice
  • Maintaining demonstration gardens at various locations throughout the county
  • Mentoring and giving technical guidance to school gardens and youth groups

What subjects does the training program cover?

  • Garden Botany
  • Plant Physiology
  • Woody Plants and their Maintenance
  • Pruning
  • Soils and Composting
  • Climate Change
  • Garden Design
  • Growing Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
  • Lawn Care
  • Native Plants/Invasives/Weeds
  • Entomology and Integrated Pest Management
  • Plant Pathology
  • Management of Nuisance Wildlife
  • Structural Pest management

How do I apply for acceptance into the Master Gardener Volunteer Program?
You must be a resident of Westchester County to apply for the CCE Westchester Master Gardener Volunteer Program. You must complete an application and furnish two personal references with your application and agree to a background check. Personal interviews will be conducted from a pool of qualified applicants.

How often is training offered?
The Master Gardener training is held in collaboration with other Hudson Valley Extension Offices and is held on an as needed basis.

Is there a fee?
Yes. The fee is $450 for the 2016 Master Gardener Volunteer Training.

Click here to see the brochure describing the MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER PROGRAM. 

Questions? Contact Amy Albam at 914-285-4640 or


Amy Albam
Horticulture Educator/Master Gardener Program Coordinator

Last updated October 19, 2017