Join Us - Become a Master Gardener Volunteer
If you have a love of gardening, a desire for learning and are willing to share your knowledge with others, consider becoming a University of Minnesota Master Gardener in Dakota County.
Applications for new Master Gardeners are accepted annually August 1 to Oct 1. You can find the online application form on the Become a Master Gardener page.
You will be asked to participate in an interview with our selection team and complete a volunteer
background check. We may not be able to select all applicants.
Those selected begin a year as a University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Intern. Interns must complete the Extension Master Gardener Core Course. The course is self-paced including weekly webinars and section quizzes. Instructors are University of Minnesota Extension educators and faculty. Topics include soils, entomology, gardening resources, diagnostics, trees, herbaceous plants, lawn care, plant pathology, and more.
The Extension Master Gardener calendar year is January 1 to December 31. During the first year, interns must complete 50 hours of approved volunteer work on educational projects, often with other active Master Gardeners. Through the year interns report their volunteer hours online in the Extension Master Gardener database. All hours must be reported by December 31.
Upon successful completion of the internship year, the intern becomes a certified Dakota County Master Gardener Volunteer, receiving a certificate and official badge. For additional details and requirements review Steps to Becoming a Master Gardener.
Once certified, Dakota County Master Gardener Volunteers must volunteer a minimum of 25 hours and receive at least 5 hours of approved continuing education each year in order to maintain their certified, active Dakota County Master Gardener Volunteer status.
If combining your passion for people and plants sounds appealing, come grow with us! Remember, a formal education in horticulture isn’t necessary. We provide the training and resources to help you teach others.