Master Gardeners of North Alabama

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Our MGNA organization is supported and funded by membership dues, donations, and fundraising efforts.

Master Gardeners touch lives through: • Community landscape beautification projects • Horticulture therapy, which provides physical, emotional, and mentally stimulating benefits to those whose opportunities are severely limited • Community vegetable gardens • School landscape and classroom projects • Environmental awareness education

History of Master Gardening and the Master Gardeners of North Alabama

The Master Gardener (MG) volunteer program began in 1972 in King County (Seattle), Washington. Extension Agent David Gibby was being overwhelmed with requests for gardening information. Partially in self-defense, he developed the idea of providing training for avid gardeners who would then share the acquired knowledge with others through community service.

The Master Gardener concept quickly took root, and by 1988 there was a Master Gardener International Program. There are now programs in all 50 states and at least four Canadian provinces. Wherever they are found, Master Gardeners share a common desire to learn more about gardening and to become better stewards of our country’s landscapes and natural resources.

Thousands of individuals, including over 6,000 Alabamians in 42 Alabama counties, have received this much-acclaimed training, and thousands of hours of volunteer service have been given in return.

Mary Lou McNabb brought the Master Gardener concept to Huntsville, Al in 1981. She asked Madison County Extension Agent Gary Murray if he would help get a Master Gardener Program started in Alabama. These two individuals, along with Dr. Caula Beyl and Dr. Govid Sharma of Alabama A&M University, organized the first Alabama Master Gardener training program in Huntsville.

In 1988 The Master Gardeners of North Alabama (MGNA) was organized and began conducting regular meetings and events. It was these energetic volunteers who established many of our outreach and extension support programs that continue today.

MGNA continued to grow and in 2004 it was decided that our all-volunteer organization should formally organize as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Each year we see new Master Gardener Interns join our ranks after taking the Master Gardener Training Course. You are never too young or too old for this program! We continue to serve all Madison County, Alabama communities as an all-volunteer organization.