Frequently Asked Questions

You’re not the only one asking questions. Here are answers to the most common questions about the Master Gardener Program.

When does the course take place?

The 10 week training course takes place most years from mid-March through mid-May. Each class session lasts from 9AM-3:30PM, one day per week.

How much does the training cost?

The training course costs about $175 ($150 for course materials and around $25-30 for a background check). The background check may cost more if you’ve moved from another state recently. The program cost may increase depending on material costs.

Do I have to live in Wayne County?

No, you don’t have to live in Wayne County to be part of the Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) program at Secrest. If your county doesn’t have a MGV program you are more than welcome to be part of our program.

If your county does have a program you can do your training at Secrest and transfer back to your county’s program.

Do I have to volunteer at Secrest Arboretum?

No, you don’t have to volunteer at Secrest Arboretum if you’re a Secrest MGV. As much as we would love for you to volunteer at Secrest we realize that isn’t always a possibility.

Where do I volunteer?

We have many active programs already happening around the region that you are welcome to join. These programs are discussed in the course. It is our goal to help you find a program that is a good fit for you by the end of the 10-week training course.

Why do I need a background check?

The background check is part of an Ohio State University Extension policy that requires all volunteers to pass a criminal background check prior to starting volunteer service. The purpose is to protect minors that may attend MGV programming. Currently, many reputable organizations (including churches and other religious organizations) require a background check. Under the current policy volunteers only need to be checked once unless a volunteer becomes involved in a project that involves care, custody, or control of a minor. In that case, a FBI fingerprint background check is required.

What if I have to miss some of the course?

Life happens. We know that you have a life outside of the MGV training course. We ask that if you’re going to miss any of the first five classes or if you will miss more than eight of the 10 weeks, you  consider waiting until the following year for training.