The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (UNHCE) Master Gardeners participate in an extensive training program. The specialized training is designed to prepare volunteers to engage as knowledgeable horticulture advisors and volunteer educators at the Education Center “Info Line”. Their interaction with New Hampshire citizens supports both the Extension's mission:
"UNHCE provides N.H. citizens with research-based education and information to enhance their ability to make informed decisions that strengthen youth, families and communities, sustain natural resources, and improve the economy"
and the Master Gardeners credo:
"Extending Knowledge and Solving Problems".
Working under the supervision of a Cooperative Extension professional, Master Gardeners provide research-based information on a wide variety of topics including:
- horticulture issues,
- plant selection, installation, and maintenance,
- plant problem diagnosis and treatments,
- environmentally sound gardening practices,
- pest identification and management,
- food preparation and food safety,
- and many other topics.
All Education Center inquiries (phone calls, emails, social media inquiries, and drop-ins) are documented utilizing a web-based database system that allows ease in tracking, referencing, and follow-up.
Requirements to volunteer at the Education Center:
- Attend a Master Gardener training session (13 weeks: one day per week, 6 hours per session).
- Attend a 1.5 hour orientation session at the Education Center.
- Participate actively in training sessions and keep up-to-date on the latest and most current information (master gardeners must attend an additional three hours of continuing education each year following the first year of training).
- Answer consumer questions on horticulture and other topics over the phone, by email, or in person and provide reliable, unbiased information.
- Communicate effectively with the public by telephone, email, letter, or in person.
- Agree to follow published research-based recommendations for use of home general-use pesticides.
- Refer questions on commercial crop production and commercial pest control to the Education Center Coordinator.
- Enthusiastic, responsible, and motivated.
- Interest in helping people.
- Ability to communicate efficiently.
- Knowledge of community resources.
- Belief in the value of extension’s educational programs.
- Transportation to and from the call center in Goffstown, NH.
- Basic computer, word processing, and internet knowledge.
Volunteers report to the Education Center Coordinator and/or to the volunteer leader who covers the Education Center in the coordinators absence.
Travel Time to Education Center:
The UNHCE Education Center will give our volunteers credit for time spent traveling to the center.
Travel to and from the Education Center in Goffstown: Travel time should be reported separatly on the Volunteer Report for volunteer hours. We encourage volunteers to track mileage traveled as a UNHCE Master Gardener Volunteer (mileage may be claimed as a tax deduction). Mileage and time spent traveling to and participating in educational programs for your ongoing learning does not constitute volunteer hours.
Any questions regarding what constitutes volunteer travel time should be directed to Marie-Eve Jacques (email@example.com).