How to Start a Master Gardeners Group
If there is no group in the area where you live, START ONE!
Step 1 – Form a Group
A group of 15 or more interested and knowledgeable people (10 or more in Northern Ontario) agrees to form a Master Gardener Group
Step 2 – Contact the MGOI Provincial Administrator
A person from the group contacts the provincial administrator and requests application package. The Administrator will give the group the contact names of the coordinators of nearby groups and the name of local zone director who can be contacted for assistance.
Step 3 – Create an Organizing Committee
Interested people hold a meeting and select three people to form an organizing committee to prepare the application. Contact should be made with local horticultural Societies. They have been very active sponsors in the past. Some of their members may be very interested in the program and there are opportunities for groups to partner on activities.
Step 4 – Complete the Application
The organizing committee meets with interested and supportive groups, individuals and businesses and completes application. The application should include the need in the community, names and addresses of interested people, proposed area covered, details of start up funding, letters of recommendation, proposed meeting location and plan of operation.
Step 5 – Send in the Application
Organizing committee forwards the application to MGOI administrator for presentation at Board of Director's meeting.
Step 6 – Board of Directors Approval
The Board of Directors considers each application and either accepts or rejects application. If the application is rejected, then a letter is sent to committee with reasons as to why it was turned down. If the application is approved, then group is notified and planning continues. When an application is accepted, the administrator will notify the new group and forward applicable information to the zone director.
Step 7 – Organizational Meeting
At this stage, fund raising activities should begin to help cover some of the start-up expenses. These could include advertising, photocopying, hall rental etc.
The group advertises and holds an organizational meeting to solicit candidates in the fall of the year. The first meeting program should include:
· information videos
· speaker on the Master Gardener program
· eligibility or exemption exam (if possible)
· application forms
· candidate interviews
Successful candidates are notified by the organizing committee; they meet and select a coordinator, secretary and treasurer.
Master Gardener agreements are completed and handed to the coordinator for records. When an application is accepted, the Provincial Administrator will notify the new group and forward applicable information to the zone director.
The new coordinator will send details about membership and executive to the administrator for records. Successful candidates proceed with studies and other activities.