Chat list for Chatham County, North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. NC State Extension Master Gardener volunteers provide unbiased, research-based information on gardens, lawns and landscapes.The Extension Master Gardener sm program began at Washington State University in 1972 in response to a high demand for gardening advice. In 1977 NC State volunteers staffed a garden hotline in New Hanover County. The next year Wake County trained their first Extension Master Gardener sm volunteers and three years later, there were 110 Extension Master Gardener Volunteers in five counties. Now there are over 4,500 volunteers in 90 counties across the state.Under the guidance and direction of Extension agents, volunteers complete a 40-hour training program, pass an examination, and complete at least a 40-hour internship. To remain active in the program volunteers must log a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer time and a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education each year.
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