The Master Gardener Program

Learning and Growing


New Jersey Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension in its mission to deliver horticulture programs and information to the general public. Anyone with an interest in gardening and commitment to volunteer service can become a Master Gardener. No previous education or training in horticulture is required. Since 1988, when it graduated its first class, Union County’s Master Gardener Program has trained hundreds of men and women through a diverse curriculum, including:


  • Botany
  • Flowering Gardening
  • Fruit Growing
  • Horticultural Therapy
  • House Plants
  • Insects
  • Lawn Care
  • Ornamental Trees and Shrubs
  • Plant Diseases
  • Soils and Plant Nutrition
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Pesticide Safety


Union County’s Master Gardeners contribute thousands of volunteer hours annually – 7200+ last year alone – running the Helpline, staffing information booths at fairs and gardening events, conducting highly respected horticultural therapy programs, educating the public through its evening lecture series, Speakers Bureau and Demonstration Gardens at Trailside Nature center in the Watchung Mountain Reserve, and enhancing the beauty of our local environment through a broad array of community beautification projects. By completing the Master Gardener program, participants also join a statewide network of Master Gardeners, with continued access to opportunities to broaden their training and horticultural experiences. If you haven’t yet made it to our annual Spring Garden Fair & Plant sale at the Master Gardeners Demonstration Gardens at Trailside Nature Center, make the date on your calendar. It’s the Sunday after Mother’s Day, rain or shine! Free lectures… children’s activities… plant and insect clinic. . . mouth watering baked goods… and a dazzling array of plants and nature crafts at tempting prices.

Join Us!