Community Resource

Apply Now to Become a Pine County Master Gardener

Applications are now being accepted to become a Pine County Master Gardener.  To apply now and until the October 1st deadline, call or email Terry Salmela, Pine County Master Gardener Coordinator at the Pine County Extension office at the Courthouse in Pine City at 800-657-38 13 Ext. #3 or 612-390-3149. His email is

This is an opportunity to take a basic horticulture course from horticulture experts from the University of Minnesota Extension and to share one’s gardening knowledge and experience with others.

Individuals accepted into the program will start an internship that begins with a 48-hour Master Gardener Core Course the second week of January, 2020. There are two ways to take the course.  One is to take it online between January and May. The other option is to take it in-person at eight sessions on Fridays and Saturdays from early January to early February at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum near Chanhassen. Or, it can be taken by a combination of these two methods.

Following the core course, interns will complete 50 hours of volunteer time in their first year by working with the Pine County Master Gardeners and/or on their own on a variety of projects that inform the public about gardening and horticulture. In Pine County, some of those projects are the Pine County Horticulture Day, community education classes, Pine City Community Garden, Hinckley School Garden, Junior Master Gardeners, Summer Food and Fun youth program, Ask a Master Gardener booths at the Farmers’ Market, Grand Casino and County Fair, newspaper columns and others.

After completing the first-year internship, an intern becomes certified as a University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener. To remain certified, they must complete 25 volunteer hours and five or more education hours annually.

There is a fee for the core course. A partial scholarship is available. 

Here is what current Pine County Master Gardeners have said about their experience. Barbara Fischer, Sandstone said, “More and more families are concerned about eating healthy.  Growing vegetables and fruits is a cost-effective way to do so. The availability of master gardeners in the community enables families to find answers that are specific to their needs and their local area.”

Jennifer Eaves, Hinckley said that this program is a unique way to meet people with an interest in gardening and to share research-based information with the citizens of Pine County and Minnesota. Kim Metz, Rock Creek added, “This program has made a huge difference in my life to have a local gardening and information community.” Diane Scheremet, Hinckley said, “Being a master gardener means making a difference. We all learn together and our environment prospers.”