The mission of the Missouri Master Gardener Extension Program is “helping others learn to grow.” The Master Gardener program provides in depth horticultural training to individuals throughout Missouri. They then volunteer their time applying what they have learned to help others in their communities learn about gardening and environmental education. The Master Gardener Program in Missouri promotes and raises public awareness of University of Missouri Extension as a source of unbiased, research-based gardening information.
Through activities such as Extension helplines, workshops, speaker’s bureaus, garden show booths and demonstration projects, Master Gardeners provide gardening information to thousands of Missourians each year.
Ozark Gateway chapter
In Jasper County, a participant must receive 30 hours of classroom instruction and agree to volunteer 30 hours back to the community. A participant must complete 20 hours of volunteer service, plus an additional six hours of continuing education yearly. The volunteer service has taken on many forms. Several have participated in community garden and community beautification projects. Some have given programs to various school groups, gardening clubs and residential care units. Others have provided assistance with a helpline in the University of Missouri Extension Center during the summer months. A fee is charged to cover the cost of the course core manual, handouts and other expenses. Other arrangements can be made if a participant does not wish to contribute volunteer hours.
The annual course consists of a minimum of ten, three-hour sessions over an approximate six week period. Topics usually covered include an orientation to the Master Gardener program, soils and plant nutrition, annuals and perennials, fruit crops for home production, insects, woody ornamentals, lawns and turf, vegetable production, diagnosing plant problems and trees in the landscape.
The chapter's annual plant sale is held in May. Plants are sold at reasonable prices and include perennials, bedding plants, bulbs, trees, natives and other seasonal plants.
Master Gardeners in Jasper County maintain the Carthage Public Library garden, a community garden at Crosslines in Joplin, and a demonstration garden at Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center.
Become a Master Gardener
If you enjoy gardening, want to learn more about horticulture, and are willing to share with others what you know and learn, you’re a prime candidate to become a Master Gardener. Contact us at (417) 358-2158 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report volunteer hours online or by completing the printed form and mailing to the extension office.
Missouri Master Gardener Service Hours Website
Master Gardener Service Record (PDF)
Grow for It
A newsletter for Ozark Gateway Master Gardeners
February 2014 (PDF)
January 2014 (PDF)
Other useful resources
Missouri Master Gardeners (statewide website)
Missouri Master Gardener Association, Inc.
Green Horizons (MU Center for Agroforestry Newsletter website)
Missouri Botanical Garden
Grow Native (Missouri Department of Conservation program website)