Toronto Master Gardeners are volunteers whose mandate is to share current, science-based horticultural information with the gardening public -- in person, in print, via media, and online. Prior to becoming a Toronto Master Gardener, the successful recruit participates in the 2–3-year prerequisite Toronto Master Gardener-in-Training program. During this internship, the Toronto Master Gardeners-in-Training (MGiTs) are mentored by an experienced Toronto Master Gardener and supported by the Recruitment and Training Team. You may be advised of other Master Gardener groups you can join if your residence is not in Toronto. If you think you would like become a Toronto Master Gardener, here are the some of the values/qualifications required. In addition, we also want to know about your special knowledge and skills that would be an asset to our organization.
Values/Qualifications required for the Toronto Master Gardener-in-Training program are:
- Advocating to protect the environment;
- Education and lifelong learning;
- Community engagement;
As a volunteer organization we are always interested in knowledge and skills our members have in addition to gardening! In 2022, experience in any of the following areas would be an asset and should be mentioned in your application:
- Experience as a community educator, and/or volunteer with a grassroots/not-for-profit organization;
- Expertise with website design/coding/Wordpress familiarity;
- Experience in communications and/or public speaking training;
- Expertise in any of the following: conservation, human resources, education, legal, project management, digital archiving, photography; and visual arts skills, finance and accounting.
How to start the process (Next intake of trainees to be later in 2022. Actual dates to be noted on this website):
- Attend an online information session to answer your questions and to see if the Toronto Master Gardeners is right for you (2021 information sessions have now concluded);
- Submit an application including highlighting your additional knowledge, skills and specialties;
- Pass a basic gardening knowledge test;
- Attend an interview to assess the commitment to volunteerism and community education – critical to success as a Master Gardener.
As a Toronto Master Gardener-in-Training you must complete the following 3 requirements to be qualified as a Toronto Master Gardener:
- Complete the educational requirements within 3 years of joining. The educational requirements include completing either 3 online University of Guelph courses or 4 onlineDalhousie University Master Gardener courses or if you have a solid horticultural background, writing the MGOI certification exam. The tuition of $600/course and/or MGOI exam fees are payable by the individual Master Gardener-in-Training;
- Fulfill the annual volunteer obligations each year that include 30 hours of approved volunteer service, attend a minimum of 4 Toronto Master Gardener meetings, and undertake approved continuing education activities;
- Complete at least 2 years as a Toronto Master Gardener-in-Training.
The Toronto Master Gardeners is an organization committed to fostering an environment in which everyone we engage with, including fellow members and the general public is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of race, national and ethnic origin, colour, age, gender, sexual identity or sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation or abilities.
Not in Toronto? Don’t despair. You can find your local MG groups, including Mississauga, Etobicoke, Lake Simcoe South and 34 others, at www.mgoi.ca