The Master Gardener program and training are conducted by the West Virginia University Extension Service through the county extension offices. The training provides gardeners with the opportunity to improve their horticultural knowledge and skills and then share their experience with the public through organized volunteer activities. The program topics covered include: botany, plant problem diagnosis, soils, ornamentals, pest management, fruits, vegetables, and plant propagation. Contact your county extension office for class availability and schedule.
The West Virginia Master Gardeners Association (WVMGA), in coordination with the WVU Extension Service, helps bring gardening and horticulture skills to a new level among the citizens of the state. Under the leadership of John Murray (WVU Extension Service interim coordinator) and key county Extension agents, master gardeners are now active in 33 of West Virginia’s 55 counties. There are over 1,200 active master gardeners in WV. In 2008, master gardeners across the state volunteered approximately 30,000 hours to their local communities and provided 95 service projects to their communities and to WVU Extension Service, contacting 19,000 adults and 2,500 youth.
Currently the WV Master Gardener Association in collaboration with WVU Extension Service has two state projects. The first is the garden at the State Fair Grounds in Fairlea, West Virginia. Members of the Greenbrier Master Gardener Association have assumed a leadership role in the development and maintenance of this garden. Every August master gardeners from around the state travel to Fairlea to volunteer in the garden and provide on-site demonstrations during the West Virginia State Fair. In 2007, the West Virginia University Building was dedicated at the Fair Grounds. This building, adjacent to the gardens, provides a perfect site for exhibits, demonstrations and classes by WVU Extension Service faculty and volunteers. Both the new garden and WVU building were very active during the 2009 fair.