top of page

Trainee Requirement & Certification Information


The Master Gardener training program is provided through the University of Missouri Extension.  The mission of the Missouri Master Gardener Extension Program is “helping others learn to grow.” The Master Gardener program provides in-depth horticultural training to individuals throughout Missouri who then volunteer their time applying what they have learned to help others in their communities to learn about gardening and environmental education.


Trainee Volunteer Hour Requirements


As part of Level 1 training and certification, Trainees will be asked to volunteer 30 hours to complete certification, broken down as follows:

  1. A total of 20 hours in our Demonstration Gardens and/or Greenhouse (seeding & care of plants for annual plant sale), and/or Horticultural Support service (Hort Line); plus

  2. 10 hours additional on volunteer projects. Examples: Additional hours in our Demonstration Gardens, participating in MG committees, helping out during the Plant Sales and during our public education seminars and Speakers Bureau presentations, attending monthly MG Meetings,  volunteer hours in approved public and semi-public gardens in the community.


Volunteer hours may begin during level 1 class training.  Notify the Membership Committee if you plan to volunteer and need to record hours early (before you complete the Level 1 training) and they will set you up with a user id in the Missouri Master Gardener reporting system.  Otherwise, you will be set up when you successfully complete training.

Trainees should track their volunteer hours manually (on a calendar, etc.) until they receive their account in the Missouri Master Gardener reporting system along with information on how to report their hours in the Online Reporting system.  The hours can then be transferred into the Missouri Master Gardener reporting system

  • Please reference the link above ‘Guide to reporting volunteer hours’ which identifies which Local Project to select when reporting your hours.  Your membership team is also available to answer any questions.

For Volunteer opportunities

  • Workdays:  Each Wednesday & Saturday morning during the growing season, join us at our Demonstration Gardens.  Please coordinate with the overall garden lead or the specific garden lead, or just show up and ask where you can help. 

  • Other work days as needed; check with the extension overall garden lead or the specific garden lead.

  • Other opportunities may be listed in the St Charles County MG e-newsletter or announced at the monthly meetings.


The 30 minimum volunteer hours must normally be completed within one year from the completion of training (one year from last day of class).

It is important for Master Gardeners and Trainees to track and report their volunteer hours as this helps to demonstrate to the St Charles County Council, who provides funding to the St Charles Extension Center, of the value of the program.

Master Gardener Badge & Certificate:


After successfully completing Level 1 Training class, plus recording the minimum trainee volunteer hour requirement (in the Online Reporting system), you will be recognized as a Certified Master Gardener with Master Gardener name badge and certificate.  To be recognized as completing certification and receive your badge, you must notify the Membership Committee:

  1. Send an email to the chapter Membership Committee when requirements are completed

  2. In the email, (spelling of your name, first & last or nickname preferred as first name)


The membership team will respond by email after confirming requirement hours are reported correctly; and will order your badge.


Once certified, the annual hour commitment for certified Master Gardeners begins the January of the year following receipt of the MG badge. However, also note that once certified, you can also continue to volunteer and earn educational credit  during the same year and those additional hours can count towards annual Active Master Gardener status for future Emeritus Status consideration. 

For more information, see the Certified Master Gardeners - Annual Requirements page in the Membership section.

Revised 5/5/2023.

bottom of page