About the Association
Who Are We?
The Atlantic Master Gardeners Association is a non-profit volunteer association based in the Atlantic Region of Canada (the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador). We are keen gardeners who work together to support the delivery of quality education to our membership and environmentally responsible gardening advice to the public. Our members come from all over the Atlantic region. Some are enthusiastic amateurs; some are experienced professionals — but all have a passion for gardening that they want to share with others. Any person who has completed the Dalhousie University Master Gardener Program or is a Master Gardener Trainee, has achieved CHT certification in Ornamental Plant Maintenance and Softscape Installation, or has graduated from a recognized landscape horticulture program is eligible for membership. Master Gardeners from other Provinces in Canada who meet their requirements may be approved for membership by the Executive of the AMGA.
What Do We Do?
The purpose of the Association is to provide service to the community by promoting and teaching good horticultural practices in accordance with standards approved by Dalhousie University and its Master Gardener Program, and to foster communication, education, and fellowship among its members.
We provide information about gardening to members of the public, and educate people in sustainable gardening practices. We share this information through a variety of volunteer projects & public education activities. Some Atlantic Master Gardeners write for local papers, speak to community groups throughout the Province, and support local botanical and/or community gardens. Atlantic Master Gardeners respond to questions in garden centres that have partnered with us for that purpose.
Did you know?
The Master Gardener Program started in the USA at Washington State University in the 1970s. The Program was formed to provide support to the Agricultural extension Service, so they could address a need to deal with an overwhelming public demand for information concerning local gardening questions and problems. Today Master Gardener groups can be found in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, the Atlantic Region and 46 U.S. states. Our program was developed by the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now the Dalhousie University faculty of Agriculture) with the kind support of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service and Virginia Tech.
What do we do for our Membership?
We provide regular email and website updates, a quarterly newsletter, an Annual General Meeting, an annual Summer School and an annual Fall Workshop to keep our members informed on the latest in gardening, and to teach new skills. As a group of garden enthusiasts, we share knowledge – and sometimes, plants!
Become a Master Gardener
The Atlantic Master Gardener Program welcomes enthusiastic gardeners with a willingness to share their interest and experience with the public. To become an Atlantic Master Gardener, our Atlantic Master Gardener Trainees take a web based training program provided by Dalhousie University, as well as attending a one week summer school. For more information on the program, go to http://www.dal.ca/faculty/agriculture/extended-learning/programs-courses/master-gardener-training.html
Once Atlantic Master Gardener Trainees have successfully completed both the on line program and the volunteer hours service components of the Program, they will earn their Atlantic Master Gardener Certification.
After the Training
Active Atlantic Master Gardeners maintain their membership status by completing at least 25 hours of volunteer service as an Atlantic Master Gardener, of which at least 8 hours must be in the education of others. Education service can include anything from writing an article for the AMGA newsletter, answering garden related questions either from online queries or at Ask a Master Gardener events, speaking at meetings and events, or any other activity approved by the Volunteer Coordinator. Atlantic Master Gardeners also participate in additional training of a minimum of eight hours every two years. These continuing education hours can be accumulated by attending the speaker portion of Garden club or related meetings, summer school, fall workshops, field trips, or other garden or horticulture workshops and horticultural courses.