Master Gardener Program

Master Gardeners

Who We Are

Master GardenerMaster Gardeners Serve Our Community:

  • Volunteers of the University of Nebraska Extension.
  • Improve the efficiency of the Extension Service and allow educators to develop proactive programs.
  • Extend practical applications of university-based research on gardening in Nebraska.
  • Learn and share principles and practices of environmental horticulture.
  • Volunteer to promote environmental awareness to a broad level.
  • Serve as ambassadors of goodwill for the county and Nebraska Extension.

A Typical Year for Nebraska Extension Douglas-Sarpy Master  Gardeners:

  • Staffing the Horticulture Helpline and Helpdesk at the Extension office 5 days a week and answering over 14,000 lawn and garden questions.
  • Designing and maintaining thirteen community garden demonstration projects.
  • Consulting at numerous "Ask the Master Gardener" events.
  • Speaking to many local civic groups about home gardening.
  • Raising vegetables for the local food bank in our HOPE Garden project.

Master Gardener Program Application and Training

Ideal applicants are committed to volunteering and able to communicate horticulture knowledge with diverse people in Douglas-Sarpy County.

Master Gardeners in the office courtyard


  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Available to spend time volunteering, attending classes, and participating in field trips.
  • Love gardening and have a desire to learn and practice environmentally-friendly horticulture methods and share this information with others.
  • Eager to learn horticulture by actively participating in an intensive 48 hour 8-week training program in February and March, and a plant clinic in the spring.

Training and Certification:
If accepted into the Master Gardener program you will receive 48 hours of horticulture education. The core areas include:

  • Botany, entomology, plant pathology, soils, weeds, and landscape design.
  • Cultural methods of growing garden vegetables, fruit crops, trees, perennials, turfgrass, and shrubs.
  • Disease, insect, and vertebrate pest control using IPM methods.
  • Proper pesticide management.
  • Customer service.

The program includes classroom training via lectures and group activities. Interns must receive a passing grade on a test. For $255.00, interns will receive 48 hours of instruction, reference materials including a Master Gardener Handbook, a name badge, t-shirt and a monthly MG newsletter.

Volunteer Service & Training Commitment:
Master Gardener Interns volunteer 40 hours of their time by September 30 per annum to become a certified Master Gardener. To maintain certification as a Master Gardener Master Gardeners are required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours and complete at least 15 hours of continuing education annually.

How to Apply

Visit the Nebraska Master Gardeners website
Download 2019 Douglas-Sarpy Master Gardener Program Brochure

Applications are made available only at Master Gardener informational meetings. These meetings are designed to inform the public about the qualifications necessary to be accepted into the internship program. Master Gardener Intern applicants must attend one informational meeting.   

Informational Meetings:

  • November 13th at 6:30 p.m. at the main office
  • November 15th at 1 p.m. at Sump Memorial Library

For more information contact Scott Evans, Master Gardener Program Coordinator, at 402-444-7804 or

The 2017 Master Gardener Calendar is Now on Sale

Download 2017 Master Gardener Calendar Order Form

This year's calendar theme is Replacement Trees, Featuring Instructional Information by Douglas-Sarpy Counties Master Gardeners. Educational and beautiful, it provides an entire year's worth of seasonal color photos, gardening tips, resources and ideas.

The calendars can be purchased for $11 (tax included) at the UNL Douglas-Sarpy South or Central Office, or can be mailed out for an additional fee. 
Proceeds from the sale of this calendar go towards funding Master Gardener projects for the community.


The Master Gardener Program in Douglas-Sarpy Counties Resources

Roots & Shoots Newsletter Login

Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Reporting Login