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NC State Extension

2023 Annual Report

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Infographic with statistics for the NC State Extension Master Gardener program.

Extension Master Gardener volunteer service adds the equivalent of 108 additional full-time positions to Extension outreach.

Through education and outreach, the NC State Extension Master Gardener℠ program connects people with the benefits of gardening and empowers North Carolinians to cultivate healthy plants, landscapes, ecosystems, and communities. Our network of trained, passionate Extension Master Gardener volunteers work under the leadership of Extension professionals based in N.C. Cooperative Extension county centers across North Carolina. 

Explore stories that celebrate our work to help North Carolinians improve their lives and grow our state.

A group of volunteers stand among flowers.Serving Communities Across North Carolina 

From community gardens to plant clinics, Extension Master Gardener volunteers engage thousands of North Carolinians each year, helping them to learn and grow. Explore our most in-demand volunteer service activities and their combined reach across North Carolina.

Bee on purple flower.

Growing Knowledge to Protect Pollinators

Extension Master Gardener volunteers helped NC State experts research maintenance practices that maximize the pollinator habitat value of home landscapes.

Colorful banner announcing the date of the 2023 Great Southeast Pollinator Census.Protecting Pollinators When It Counts

Extension Master Gardener volunteers teach North Carolinians about pollinator conservation through classes and workshops, educational materials, and demonstration gardens. Now, they have a new way to help protect pollinators and encourage others to get involved.

Red, purple, and yellow tomato fruits.Finding the Best Tomatoes

Extension Master Gardener volunteers helped identify tomato varieties that are more likely to thrive in North Carolina gardens by trialing three new disease-resistant varieties developed by NC State plant breeders. 

A variety of vegetables growing in a garden.Supporting Seed Libraries

Establishing and supporting seed libraries is one way Extension Master Gardener volunteers expand access to fresh produce and increase community resilience. 

Red and purple peppersHelping Grow the Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox

Volunteers work with Extension professionals to enhance and expand the Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, a free, online plant database where you can find a wealth of information about more than 4,700 plants that grow in and around North Carolina.

Colorful flowers Honoring Excellence in Gardening Education

Extension Master Gardener volunteers in Durham County received two prestigious awards at the 2023 International Master Gardener Conference in recognition of their exceptional work in gardening education and Extension outreach.

Learn. Grow. Share. logo

In communities across North Carolina, over 3900 volunteers with the NC State Extension Master Gardener℠ program work under the leadership of Extension educators to strengthen and expand Extension’s delivery of research-based knowledge to North Carolinians.

Through education and outreach, we connect people with the benefits of gardening and empower them to cultivate healthy plants, landscapes, ecosystems, and communities.

Join Us!

Learn how to become a Master Gardener volunteer in your community. Contact your local N.C. Cooperative Extension Center to find out when the training course will next be offered and how to apply.


The North Carolina Extension Master Gardener endowment is a fundraising initiative to ensure the NC State Extension Master Gardener program will continue to grow and serve North Carolinians for many years to come. Support the Extension Master Gardener endowment through a gift or by purchasing an EMG license plate.

Gardening Questions?

Use our Garden Help Directory to connect with Master Gardener volunteers and Extension experts in your community.