Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia (MGNV)

EIN: 54-1345818

Mission Statement

To promote horticultural volunteerism and community improvement through trained volunteers, by fostering communication, education, and fellowship among those involved in the Arlington/Alexandria Extension Master Gardeners Program and supporting and promoting the program and its volunteer educational activities.

Program Summary

Through Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), Extension Master Gardener volunteers contribute thousands of hours annually to community education programs in Arlington County and the city of Alexandria. We maintain eight demonstration gardens that illustrate the wide variety of plants that grow well in our area as well as overall garden care. We operate plant clinics in farmers’ markets and a public library as well as at special events. We field a wide range of gardening questions through the Extension Master Gardener Help Desk at the Arlington County VCE office. We conduct public workshops in such areas as container gardening, composting, removing invasive plants and insects (such as spotted lanternfly and porcelain berry), and lawn care.  We provide free online classes, including weekly programs with original content focusing on best management gardening practices, sustainable landscaping, and urban agriculture.  We support horticulture therapy and school gardening projects, and we respond to other community needs as they arise.

Impact Statement

  • Number of hours volunteered: 22,563 and Total dollar value of hours volunteered in 2023: $717, 504.
  • We expanded the public education and outreach presence of our social media to Extension Master Gardeners and the public. As of December 5, 2023, the MGNV Facebook page had 12,134 followers (a 28% increase over the December 2022 total of 9,518). The annual “reach” tripled to 2,992,955 in December 2023 (compared with a December 2022 annual reach of 999,241). Our YouTube channel subscribers increased to 4,120 (from 2,392 in 2022), with an average of 150 new subscribers joining every month. The channel now includes 199 recorded public education classes, short educational videos, and nature videos which are viewed an average of 13,700 times per month.
  • The National Association of County Agricultural Agents awarded our Extension Master Gardener volunteer outreach programming team first place “Communications Award: Web Site/Online Content.” The submission was declared a State Winner—Virginia.
  • The Small Trees Maker Big Canopies program has given away 990 trees. In 2023, we gave away 280 native trees through several tree giveaways in the spring and fall. 

What ways can the public get involved?

If you want to be a volunteer educator, love gardening, and want to protect our environment by sharing what you learn with our community, consider becoming an Extension Master Gardener (EMG). Once certified, EMGs teach the community about our best management practices for urban agriculture and sustainable landscaping. EMGs retain their certifications by annually completing 20 volunteer hours and 8 hours of continuing education. For more information about training or becoming an EMG, please contact our Volunteer Training Program Coordinator, Leslie Fillmore, by email at

How are charitable dollars spent? Where does my donation go?

Donations to MGNV support the following that benefit the public:

  • Eight demonstration gardens in Arlington and Alexandria
  • Five plant clinics at libraries and farmers’ markets in Arlington and Alexandria
  • Help Desk (for in person, phone, and email inquiries)
  • MGNV website and social media 
A photo of children tending to a garden plot.

Information provided March 2024