Master Gardener Volunteer Program

Being a Master Gardener is about becoming a VOLUNTEER with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension to help educate the public about gardening and natural resources.

Being a Master Gardener is about helping deliver meaningful community programs to improve the well-being of individuals and communities, to protect natural resources, and to help keep fresh fruits and vegetables on the table. It’s about working in tandem with Extension staff and other volunteers to make a difference in the places we live, learn, and work. It’s not about knowing everything about gardening. It’s about learning to ask the right questions and knowing how to look up information from appropriate resources.

Training is required to become a Master Gardener Volunteer.  To become a Wisconsin Master Gardener Volunteer, you should complete the Foundations in Horticulture (FIH) online course and must complete the Master Gardener Program Onboarding online course.

Foundations in Horticulture – Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin Course

The Foundations in Horticulture (FIH) – Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin course teaches researched-based methods to grow plants and manage pests. We introduce a decision-making framework that focuses on understanding how plants best grow, why pests and problems happen, and how to do our best to keep plant problems from happening. Whether you are a beginner or an avid gardener, your plants will benefit from this course.

Foundations in Horticulture is an interactive, online course taught by Extension Educators and includes readings, videos, online discussions, and live webinars. It is offered annually in the fall.  The Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program supports FIH as the primary source of horticultural knowledge required for the Master Gardener program.

Master Gardener Program Onboarding Course

The Master Gardener Program Onboarding course:

  • Provides an orientation to Extension and the Master Gardener Program.
  • Explains the scope of being an Extension volunteer in the Master Gardener Program.
  • Completes the university requirements of the criminal background check, child protection training, risk management training, and volunteer agreements.
  • Provides the Master Gardener exam. It will be approximately 60 questions. You must pass with a score of 70% or better. It is an open book exam.  The Master Gardener Program supports the FIH course as a way to prepare for the required Master Gardener exam in Onboarding.


 Learn More/Join the Mailing List  

To learn more about the Foundations in Horticulture course, go to:

For questions about the Master Gardener Program, go to:

To join the mailing list to receive information about future FIH and Master Gardener programs, go to:  Click on “Join our Mailing List”.

For specific information about the Milwaukee County Master Gardeners, contact Ann Wied at 262-548-7788 or


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