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.
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. Mary Lou McNabb is still active with MGNA today!
In 1988 The Master Gardeners of North Alabama (MGNA) was organized and began conducting regular meetings and events. MGNA continued to grow and was formally organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in 2004.