Master Gardener

Becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer

A Master Gardener Volunteer is an individual who provides service to his/her community by assisting people in addressing horticultural problems. Any resident of Wisconsin 18 years or older is eligible to be a Master Gardener Volunteer. Potential Master Gardener Volunteers should be interested in horticulture (a formal degree is not necessary), dependable, unbiased and open-minded, and willing to help people with their horticultural concerns. Participants are expected to provide volunteer service to their community.

Level One Master Gardener Training

Level One Master Gardener Training is a minimum of 36 hours of in-depth classroom training on a variety of horticulture topics including soils, botany, entomology, plant pathology, houseplants, landscaping, turf, vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants. This provides a basic understanding of the information necessary to complete the volunteer service required for certification, as well as learning where to acquire additional information and resources. At this time there is not a scheduled Level One Master Gardener for La Crosse County.

Level Two Master Gardener Training

Level 2 training is a series of 6-12 week online programs on specific topics provided through the Master Gardener Program Office in the spring (January – April). Completion of Level One Training is required in order to participate in Level Two. Certified Master Gardener Volunteers may take the training online from home. The Goal of Level Two Training:  To expand upon Level One training with more focused horticultural topics and expanded volunteer concepts.

La Crosse County will not be offering a Level 2 classroom training.  Level 2 Training is available online, for more information go to the following link: Level 2 Training.


To become a Master Gardener Volunteer in 2022, you must complete the following:

1) Register and complete Foundations in Horticulture – Fall 2021 

2) Attend a County Open House 

3) Enroll in Master Gardener Program Onboarding Online Course, available January – March 2022

County Open House is an orientation with your local county coordinator to familiarize you with the state Master Gardener Volunteer program, the local program and volunteer opportunities. At the end of the open house you learn how to enroll in our Onboarding program. Not all counties are accepting volunteers in 2022 (the list of participating counties is available in a link below)

The Master Gardener Program Onboarding Online Course registration details are available by attending the County Open House. By completing Onboarding, you will fulfill the requirements to become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer, including the Master Gardener exam and university requirements of criminal background check, risk management training and volunteer agreements. The Master Gardener exam (open book/open notes) tests basic horticulture knowledge. By participating in the upcoming FIH course, you will increase your gardening knowledge, improve your skills, and be prepared for the Master Gardener exam. 

For Master Gardener Volunteer Onboarding details, visit the Onboarding website at: 

Frequently Asked Questions,visit the FIH website at: