Once the trainee has successfully completed the training program and has become an intern, he or she may begin their volunteer service requirement. Master Gardeners bring a wealth of different knowledge and experiences to their programs. Volunteer hours may reflect these interests and program coordinators will help to utilize these strengths when setting up programs and organizing volunteers. The primary criteria in determining what counts as volunteer time is that the activity must be educational, be within the scope of the mission of the Extension Service and not result in individual financial gain for the volunteer. The final decision regarding volunteer service hours is left up to the discretion of local Master Gardener programs.
The following are just a few examples of jobs done by Master Gardeners:
It is the responsibility of each individual Master Gardener to record and report his/her volunteer hours. Local coordinators have forms to report the date, number of hours, type of volunteer activity and number of people of various groups reached through your efforts. Completion of these reports is crucial to continued administrative support and funding for the Master Gardener program. Since the Master Gardener program is part of University Extension, funds are received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the University of Illinois and local county governments. An individual's time sheet may seem insignificant ,but when the efforts of thousands of volunteers statewide are totaled, there are more than a million dollars worth of service reported annually.