Master Gardener Training

Last updated 8/09/21

If interested in being put on a Master Gardener Training list, please contact Debra Buechner, President 608-772-3582 or

Columbia County Master Gardener Association Brochure   (PDF, 2 pages, )

What is the Master Gardener Volunteer Program?

The Master Gardener Volunteer Program gives vital support to the UW Extension Office by providing consumers with up-to-date, reliable, science based knowledge so they can enjoy and protect the value of horticulture and the environment around their homes and in the community.

The MGV Program is also a fun and useful volunteer network that gives its volunteers a sense of community spirit, accomplishment, and an opportunity to learn new things.

What can I do as a Master Gardener Volunteer?

  • Plant, maintain, and harvest at the Community Gardens in our area
  • Design, plant, and help maintain parks, gardens, and other public areas
  • Organize/teach in school activities such as the micro-farm or special interest days
  • Help with displays, contests, and presentations at local county fairs and home shows
  • Assist with horticultural programs at the Extension Office or in local community
  • Research and answer questions from the public
  • Design exhibits, displays, and demonstrations
  • Develop an area of interest and give talks to other groups
  • Identify current plant problem areas
  • Give presentations to 4-H groups and other youth organizations
  • Serve as a committee member of the local MGV organization

How do I become a Master Gardener Volunteer?

To become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer you must first complete the UW-Madison Division of Extension “Foundations in Horticulture” on-line course,  pass a written exam, complete a criminal background check, complete an onboarding program and volunteer the required number of hours within one year of training.

After the first year you can maintain your certification by completing the required number of volunteer and continuing education hours each year.

The current requirement is 24 hours of community service and 10 hours of continuing education each year.

Columbia County Master Gardener Association, Inc. Mission

CCMGA was founded to provide support for Master Gardener Volunteers in Columbia County to fulfill their volunteer and continuing education obligations.

Volunteers provide community service through environmental stewardship, education, and information on horticulture to residents of Columbia County and beyond.

Yearly association dues are $15, which includes $5 for state WIMGA membership.

Why should I join CCMGA?

  • Meet other people who share your interests
  • Learn and share ideas about gardening and horticulture
  • Receive up-to-date information, certification, continuing education, and volunteer activities
  • Two newsletters:
  • Master Gardener News—CCMGA newsletter
  • WIMGA State newsletter
  • Membership in the Wisconsin Master Gardener Association

Who can participate?

Any adult (18 years or older) can participate in the Master Gardener Program – no previous experience or training is necessary, although many people do have some horticultural experience.

Level 1 Training Locations

Master Gardener Level 1 Training: Foundations in Horticulture
Master Gardener Level 2Training:  Plants Plus

Master Gardener Level 3 Training :  Online  (This training is not scheduled at this time.)

Master Gardener Volunteers assist their local university extension educators address identified community.




Columbia County Extension
Administration Building
112 East Edgewater Street, Room 212
Portage, WI 53901
Phone: 608-742-9680
Fax: 608-742-9862
Office e-mail:
TTY/TDD: 711 for Relay