The Clemson Extension Master Gardener Program is a volunteer training program administered by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. Introduced in Charleston County in 1981, the Master Gardener program is now offered in 31 counties.
The mission of the Clemson Extension Master Gardener Program is to select, train, and utilize knowledgeable volunteers to facilitate the educational work of the local Consumer Horticulture Agent, by delivering research-based information to citizens of the state.
The Master Gardener program is divided into two parts: Instruction and Service. In the first part, participants receive at least 40 hours of intensive, practical horticultural training. The following topics are typically covered in the program:
After successfully completing the classroom portion, which involves regular attendance and passing a final exam, participants receive the title of "Master Gardener Intern". These interns are then required to volunteer at least 40 hours of educational service in the Clemson Extension office or in the community to become a Certified Clemson Extension Master Gardener. Volunteer activities are coordinated through the local county Extension office.