Become An Extension Master Gardener

Who We Are

  • We are Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, working through the Loudoun County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension 
  • We are educators providing residents with horticultural and environmental information based on the research and experience of Virginia Tech and Virginia State University
  • We are mentors who train and develop new Master Gardener Volunteers
  • We are continuous learners who maintain our own knowledge base through continuous education and updates received from Virginia Tech

What We Do

  • Answer horticulture and environmental questions through our Help Desk, Demonstration Garden, and Garden Clinics
  • Provide outreach at the Loudoun County Extension Office and at local community events
  • Maintain a Demonstration and Teaching Garden at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg
  • Promote the protection of the environment, with a focus on water quality
  • Advise on appropriate and safe use of pesticides and fertilizers
  • Conduct education programs for diverse groups on proper care of turf grass, woody plants, food crops, and ornamentals

For More Information

Who Should Apply?

Individuals who have:

  • An enthusiasm for learning the fundamental aspects of sustainable landscape practices
  • A willingness to give back to the community through volunteer efforts by supporting our programs and projects

A horticulture background – though helpful – is not necessary.

Application Process

Prospective candidates must:

  • Read the Applicant Letter (available late summer 2021)
  • Read the Training Requirements. Class dates and times are on this page.  It is important to know and understand what is required to complete the Master Gardener Program and receive certification.
  • Complete the Online Application. New for the 2022 class!  You will need to create an account in the Better Impact system (link will be live in August).  Please know you need to finish the application at one sitting to submit it.  Within the electronic application you will need:
    • 2 References: names, phone numbers and emails.  Once application is submitted, we will provide a link for you to send to your references so they can fill out the questionnaire electronically. 
    • Interests & Skills Questionnaire (clickable boxes)
  • Complete interview as detailed below.
  • Pass a background screening. Background screenings protect the integrity of our agency, our volunteers, and our clients.  Please see the VCE Volunteer Screening Information Brochure and Volunteer Screening Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions or issues with the application, please email LCMGTraining@gmail.com.

Selection Process

In late October, applicants will be contacted to schedule an in-person or phone interview (depending on COVID mandates and volunteer comfort level).

After completion of the in-person interview, a panel of Master Gardener Volunteers and Loudoun County Extension Office staff select Applicants based on an evaluation of their enthusiasm to learn, their willingness to volunteer and contribute to the Extension Master Gardener program, and their interest in promoting environmentally sound management practices. 

Successful Applicants are admitted as Trainees once the personal references are checked and the background screening is complete. Classes begin in late January.  The fee is determined annually based on costs, which covers the electronic copy of Extension Master Gardener 600-page Handbook, classroom materials, the Pest Management Guide, and a state association membership.