University of Hawaii at Manoa
UH SealCollege of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources






West Hawai'i

East Hawai'i

Gardening Helplines

Helpful Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Hawai'i Gardening Basics

School Garden Resources

Tropical Topics

Statewide Efforts

Statewide Conference

UHMG eNews Archive

Advanced Training Resources for MGs

Make a Gift
Master Gardeners at a training event

Master Gardener Training and Volunteer Requirements

2018 University of Hawai'i
East Hawai'i Master Gardener Training

The next training course will be conducted Spring 2018. There is a $140 fee for our training program.  The program is academically based with hands on learning included.  Master Gardeners are expected to volunteer at least 40 hours per year to the community. Please send inquiries to

What do we ask from you?

Volunteer requirements vary somewhat from program to program, but the East Hawaii program (Hawaii Island Master Gardeners) requires a minimum of 40 hours in the first year for initial certification. In subsequent years, the volunteer requirement is a minimum of 20 hours. Specific guidelines follow:

Certification:  To be certified, a Master Gardener must complete the training course with a 70% or better on the (three) exams. The Master Gardener must then volunteer a total of 20 hours or more on the Helpline and an additional 20 hours in any other approved activities. This must be done within the time period of the fiscal year which runs from April 15 to April 14.

Re-Certification:  To be re-certified, a Master Gardener must volunteer a total of 30 hours within the fiscal year. 12 of those hours must be on the Helpline and the remaining hours up to or beyond 20 hours can be in any activity that is approved by the Master Gardener program.

Master Gardener volunteer activities include: staffing Fruit Fly and information booths at community events, working on plant sales, hosting plant clinics, conducting workshops or speaking to gardening clubs, working in school gardens, developing and maintaining community and educational gardens, writing advice columns for local newspapers and answering questions on Helplines at County Extension offices. 

Why does everyone have to work on the Helpline in our program? The Helpline is our most important way of reaching the public and as such, all Master Gardeners are required to participate on the Helpline. This is also the place where we tend to learn the most, so working on the Helpline can mean a continuing education for you if you stay curious.

Hawaii Island Master Gardeners
Photo credit: Janice Crowl