Memphis Area Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who help the local Extension Service share the latest and greatest gardening information with the community. To become certified as a Tennessee Master Gardener, all designees receive 40 hours of class training in horticultural subjects and 40 hours of hands-on experience through volunteer community service with their Extension office.
State-wide, there are approximately 2,000 active Master Gardeners in forty-six counties. Master Gardeners who continue to participate in the program after completing their initial training provide at least forty hours of service annually and continue to learn with a minimum of eight continuing education hours each year. Nationally, there are approximately 95,000 active Master Gardener volunteers in the United States and Canada with an estimated 5.2 million volunteer hours provided annually (2009). Using the 2009 value estimate of $20.85 per hour (http://www.independentsector.org/), that's a total of $108,369,400 given back to communities by Master Gardeners!