MGNA Ask a Master Gardener

This program responds to requests from businesses, garden clubs, churches and schools wishing to have Master Gardeners on hand to answer questions. These are usually scheduled for weekends during the day. Master Gardener volunteers and interns set up a table in an area designated by the host and answer gardening questions for the attendees. Master Gardeners DO NOT SELL product. The Project chair usually provides reference books. Extension publications and soil test kits are sometimes offered as well. Usually this is a team effort; most of the time volunteers will be scheduled in teams of at least 2 per shift. For Interns, Ask a Master Gardener volunteer hours will count for Extension hours. Contact: Tom Simpson

pH Soil Testing

After training, Master Gardeners offer the public free basic pH soil testing at events around Madison County when requested – such as the Huntsville Botanical Garden Plant Sales. Master Gardeners, in addition to testing the soil samples, provide information on how to properly collect and submit soil samples for complete pH testing and analysis by the Alabama Extension Services in Auburn. The events are divided into shifts with 3 volunteers per shift. The committee chair arranges the shifts and provides all supplies for each event.
Contact: Rita Icenogle

Educational Workshops

In support of the Alabama Extension Services Master Gardeners provide affordable educational workshops to the public on a variety of horticultural topics. The committee arranges the yearly schedule of events and contacts speakers to present at the workshops. In addition to reserving the location, the committee members set up prior to and clean up following the workshop, register attendees and introduce the speaker.
Contact: Janet Boothe  

Speaker’s Bureau

The MGNA Speaker’s Bureau is a talent pool of Master Gardeners who have prepared presentations on various horticulture-related subjects and are willing to present them to local community groups upon request. Most of the requests come from groups such as HBG, Learning Quest, Senior centers or church groups. Join us and share your expertise or your passion.
Contact: Melissa Kirkindall

Jane R Parks Memorial Grant

The Master Gardeners of North Alabama grant committee oversee the Jane R Parks Memorial Grant for existing horticulture and educational projects in Madison County. This grant was set up by Master Gardener Jane Parks’ family in her memory. In August, the committee publicizes the grant and the application process. Once the applications are received, the committee meets to decide which projects will be awarded a grant. The checks are given out at the MG Christmas social. It is very rewarding to be on this committee and give away grant money for qualified projects.
Contact: Janet Boothe

Morris Elementary

Help students at Morris Elementary School connect with nature and their environment utilizing the school grounds and the greenhouse. ‘Lesson plans’ include vermiculture, composting, plant composition, and plant needs. Lessons include different garden topics and occasional guest speakers. We volunteer one day a week from September until mid May. Come out and join us for this fun project working with children.
Contact: Carlita Edwards

Demonstration Vegetable Garden

The Demonstration Vegetable Garden is an edible classroom on display at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. The DVG demonstrates a range of gardening techniques; from traditional row style to small plot and raised-bed methods. Warm and cool season vegetables are grown seasonally. A rain-water collection barrel and compost demonstration site are also nearby. MGNA members and friends volunteer to maintain the garden, harvest the fruits and vegetables. Even if you’re new to growing vegetables – it’s a great learning center. Our harvest is distributed to the needy in the area through local food banks. We usually volunteer on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8:00 am in the summer and 9:00 in the winter until 11:00 am.
Contact: Susan Parker

Adopt A Spot

MGNA has adopted areas in downtown Huntsville since 1994. The areas are landscaped and flowers planted and maintained by Master Gardener volunteers. We currently have 3 areas – Blevins Gap Pollinator Garden in conjunction with Land Trust contact Keith Johnson at For information on the Bell Tower project in Madison or the raised beds at ACES, contact Carol Weand at

Compost Demonstration Project

The Compost Demonstration Project is located at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens (HBG) near the Demonstration Vegetable Garden (DVG) project. The Compost Project is separate from the DVG. The project is an active three bin welded wire composting system built and maintained by Master Gardeners and MG Interns. Composting information is provided in a mailbox at the site. The bins are filled and turned every few weeks and contain primarily leaves, grass clippings, shredded paper, and compostable kitchen waste. The three bins are maintained in a manner to keep the bins in three different stages of decomposition so visitors can see the process from beginning to end. MG members and Interns are welcome to volunteer on this project and can learn how to make welded wire compost bins.
Contact: Jim Mullen

Habitat for Humanity Support

Master Gardeners provide education and support services for the landscaping of new Habitat Homes. This includes design of the landscape, acquisition of materials and instruction on installation and maintenance of the landscape.
Contact: Geanine Lehmann  

Field Trips, Tours and Social Events

MGNA organizes social events for its members throughout the year. There’s field trips to area gardens, garden tours, picnics, fundraisers, and our annual holiday party that wraps up our membership year.
Contact: Ameree Young

MGNA Greenhouse

At this time (fall 2023), we are awaiting a new location for our greenhouse. We hope to have an update later this year. The greenhouse will be used to propagate and care for plants and prepare for the yearly plant sale. Contact: Josie Asquith

MGNA Spring Plant Sale

MGNA members propagate plants for the yearly plant sale. Volunteers are needed in many areas for a successful sale – set up, tagging, transporting, cashiers, publicity, clean up, and so much more. Consider volunteering in our annual fundraiser.

Contact: Ann Marshall