The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County (MGVOCC) supports the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and strives to improve the quality of life in our community by delivering research – based horticultural information, educational programs and projects.
In 1980, the UGA Cooperative Extension Service, as the educational outreach of the University of Georgia, established the Master Gardener Program in Cobb County. Since that time, the program has trained and graduated approximately 25 Master Gardeners each year.
There is an application/interview process in order to be accepted into the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) training course. Applications are made available in July of each year. The deadline to turn in the completed application is the end of September. Interviews are then scheduled and MGEV Trainees are selected.
Each Trainee is assigned a Mentor who helps them through the three-month training process. As a condition of acceptance into the training program, each trainee is required to give back to the UGA Cooperative Extension Service in Cobb County a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer time during their first year. To remain in active status, each MGEV is required to volunteer at least 25 hours per year after their initial year.
In 1988, a number of Cobb County Master Gardeners who had completed their 50 hours of volunteer time created an informal group. Their zeal to volunteer additional hours and to get involved with community projects was very strong. In January of 1989, they formed an organization called Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County (MGVOCC).
By 1991, the members of MGVOCC were participating in multiple programs and activities such as: Soil Test Clinics, Warm Season Turf Management, Xeriscaping for Homeowners, and Water Conservation Inside and Outside the Home.
In 1993, the MGVOCC newsletter was formally named The Dibbler. A new logo was designed and was first used on the February/March issue of the newsletter. This is a bi-monthly newsletter and is still distributed to our members six times a year.
In 2004, MGVOCC was granted non-profit status for its educational outreach.
Over the years, many projects were developed to share research-based information from the University of Georgia with the public in the form of “Ask a Master Gardener” Plant Doctor Clinics, our Annual Garden Fair & Plant Sale, our ‘Through the Garden Gate’ Garden Tour, Community Gardens, School Gardens, Demonstration Gardens and a variety of projects such as the Horticulture Therapy Garden at Cobb Hospital, Plant-A-Row-for-the-Hungry, and the historical William Root House Museum and Garden in Marietta, Georgia.
In 2015, MGVOCC assisted 49 Cobb County Schools in their gardening endeavors. Today, MGVOCC supports 10 projects and partners with Cobb Community Gardens to educate families on growing their own food at Community Gardens throughout the county. Through our continued educational programming, we reach hundreds of citizens in Cobb County each year. Some of the ways we provide horticulture education is through the Speaker’s Bureau, our Lunch and Learn series, and Gardeners’ Night Out series. We also have a monthly THYME TO READ Book Club. More detail on each of the current projects and educational programs can be found on this website.
Today MGVOCC has over 250 active Master Gardeners, many having achieved 10-year Lifetime Status and remain active in the program today. Cobb Master Gardeners volunteered over 20,000 hours of service to Cobb County in 2015 alone.
Thank you for visiting our website! We hope to see YOU at one of our free educational programs soon.