EMG Volunteers Grow Plants, People and Communities

— Written By

Download the 2018 NC EMG Program Annual Report.
Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers are trained volunteer educators who expand Extension’s capacity to meet the needs of the gardening public. Across our state, Master Gardener volunteers provide educational outreach that connects NC residents with the environmental, economic and health benefits of gardening.

School group in the garden.

Using the garden as learning lab, Master Gardener volunteers engage youth in science education.

Working with their local N.C. Cooperative Extension agent, Master Gardener volunteers empower residents to cultivate healthy gardens, landscapes, and ecosystems through safe, effective and sustainable practices. Their efforts:

  • Enhance local food security through home and community gardens producing vegetables, fruits and nuts;
  • Beautify yards and neighborhoods while protecting water quality and conserving natural resources;
  • Create habitat for pollinators, birds and wildlife;
  • Connect children and families with nature while cultivating environmental stewardship;
  • Promote health and well-being through gardening, better nutrition and increased physical activity.

In 2018, 3,236 NC Extension Master Gardener volunteers:

Volunteers demonstrate how to prune blueberries.

Pruning is one of many practical, research-based gardening skills Master Gardener volunteers teach local residents.

  • Directly reached 484,136 North Carolinians;
  • Volunteered 210,781 hours, equivalent to 101 full time positions;
  • Contributed $7.7 million in volunteer time and in-kind donations;
  • Helped train 448 new volunteers;
  • Attended 48,871 hours of training.

Learn more about how Extension Master Gardener volunteers help grow plants, people and communities across North Carolina in the 2018 NC EMG Program Annual Report.

The Extension Master Gardener Program operates in 84 of N.C. Cooperative Extension’s 101 county centers. Contact your local N.C. Cooperative Extension county center to connect with Extension Master Gardener volunteers in your community.