We're pleased you are interested in the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program (MGP) and trust it will be a rich and rewarding experience for you. Details for the 14-week Grand Rapids (Kent County) training course site are:
Location: Kent MSU Extension Office
775 Ball NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
When: Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sepetember 4, 2018 - December 11, 2018 (including makeup date)
$300.00 for trainiing course, including 1,000-page training manual. There are no other out-of-pocket costs.
Payments: Credit Card or Check.
Deadlines: Registration: August 27, 2018.
Payment by check: August 20, 2018.
Payment by credit card: August 27, 2018
About the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program Training Course and Volunteer Service
Access to World Class Gardening Knowledge. The MSU Extension Master Gardener Program connects gardeners across the state to MSU's faculty and resources. Participants have access to information generated at one of the nation's top plant science teaching and research universities and the chance to use this knowledge to improve their communities and enrich lives.
Extension Master Gardener volunteers start by completing a 14-session practical training course grounded in university research. This training consists of approximately 45 hours of training with classes on plant science, soil science, integrated pest management, diagnostics, annuals and perennials, woody ornamentals, lawns, vegetables, small fruits, tree fruits, household and nuisance pests, indoor plants and gardening practices to protect water quality. Participants must commit to attend all the training classes and complete all (open book) quizzes and final exam with an overall score of at least 80%. Missed classes (up to two) may be made up by attending class lecture on the same topic offered in other locations. Viewing approved recorded sessions is another make up option but is less engaging for course participants.
An Opportunity to Serve. After completing the training, Extension Master Gardener trainees must complete 40 hours of approved horticulture-related service within one year to earn their MSU Extension Master Gardener certification. Through these volunteer activities, trainees educate others in their local community on the science-based, environmentally sound gardening practices learned during their training. Examples of volunteer projects and service may include:
- Working with students to design an elementary school garden.
- Creating a hands-on horticulture therapy program at a senior center.
- Helping/educating a neighborhood association create an urban garden.
- Assisting with the MSU Extension State Lawn and Garden Hotline.
- Caring for educational display gardens at senior centers, parks and other public sites.
- Teaching classes on how to garden.
- Providing technical assistance to community members establishing vegetable gardens to meet local nutritional needs.
- Mentoring teachers in outdoor and indoor classrooms using gardening curricula.
- Sharing messages on environmentally-friendly gardening practices at community events.
- Educating community members or groups on how to beautify and enrich community sites for special events or community activities that attract local residents and tourists.
After your initial certifying year, you will be required to annually complete and report 10 education and 20 volunteer hours as well as complete a 3-step re-certification process (which includes a $20 re-certification fee). ___________________________________________________________________________________
The Volunteer Selection Process (VSP)
As a certified MSU Extension Master Gardener, you will be representing Michigan State University. To assure the safety of our volunteers and contacts, we require your completion of the standardized Volunteer Selection Process (VSP) in conjunction with your registration for the Extension Master Gardener Training Course. Upon successful completion of the VSP and registration and receipt of payment, you will then be formally enrolled in the Extension Master Gardener training course.
The confidential Volunteer Selection Process involves four steps as outlined below:
1.) Completion of the following application
2.) Submission/completion of three references. Please send your references to: https://events.anr.msu.edu/mgvpkent18/
3.) Completion of the personal criminal history background check which includes:
- national background check
- state criminal history background check
- check against the Sex Offenders Listing
4.) An interviewSteps 1 - 3 can be initiated by clicking on the button below and following the directions on the next screens. Upon successful completion of these steps, you will then be contacted by local MSU Extension staff to set up an interview (step 4) about your potential involvement in the Program. During this interview, Extension Staff and/or volunteers will discuss your interests, talents, as well as your fit with the Extension Master Gardener Program.
We highly recommend that you complete these required components as soon as possible, including following up with your listed references to ensure they provide us with the required information.
Upon successful completion of the VSP and registration and receipt of payment, you will then be formally enrolled in the Extension Master Gardener training course.
- Volunteer Selection Process - $25.00 - This non-refundable fee covers the cost of your background check and VSP processing.
- Training Course - $300.00 - Includes all training course expenses and including a 1,000-page training manual. There are no other out-of-pocket costs.
- Partial scholarships may be available.
- You may apply for consideration for a partial scholarship through a separate application process.
- The VSP and registration process must be successfully completed for a scholarship application to be considered.
- To ensure your seat is held during the scholarship application process, you must submit payment for the VSP and training course.
- Scholarship applications will be reviewed and decisions made prior to the training registration deadline.
- If approved for a partial scholarship, you will be notified of the amount and receive a refund for the scholarship amount.
Registration and Payments
- Online registrations must be completed by the registration deadline, August 13th or earlier.
- In the rare event that a registration is accepted after the due date, an additional $25 fee will be assessed to cover registration processing and the MSUE Master Gardener Training Manual shipping costs.
- Your class seat is not reserved until payment in full is received and processed by MSU.
- Your registration will be cancelled if payment in full is not received within 10 days of your registration.You have the option of canceling your MSU Extension Master Gardener training registration at any time. Refunds will be issued per the Refund Policy.
- Check Postmark Due Date: Monday, August 20, 2018
- Credit Card Due Date: Monday August 27, 2018
- A full refund, less a $25 processing fee, will be issued for any registration cancelled prior to the registration closing date
- No refund will be issued for any registration cancelled after registration closing.
- No refund will be issued for any registration cancelled after the training course has started. The MSU Extension Master Gardener Training Manual is for certified Extension Master Gardeners and as such must be returned.
Training Course Cancellation Policy
MSU Extension reserves the right to cancel any course if the minimum participant levels are not met. Registrants will receive a full refund as follows and may re-register for a future class:
- Credit card payments - a credit will be issued to your credit card for the amount paid.
- Payment by check - MSU will prepare and mail you a check for the amount paid. This process takes about two weeks after the refund has been requested.
Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible. Please indicate any accommodation requests within the application.
Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.