The Master Gardener Program is a public service program offered by the Cooperative Extension Service that provides university training to volunteers for the purpose of enabling them to serve their communities through horticulture, gardening, and pest management.

The first Master Gardener Program was initiated in the state of Washington in 1973 by Extension agents in response to a burgeoning interest in horticulture from citizens in the urban areas. The program’s objective was to train volunteers to help Extension meet the overwhelming demand for information on horticulture, gardening, and plant problems. Volunteers participated in a series of science-based educational sessions that included many aspects of horticulture and related topics. Then, in return for this training, they assisted local Extension personnel in providing information and education.

Today there are Master Gardener Programs affiliated with most land-grant universities throughout the United States.

Established Roots
The Missouri Master Gardener Extension Program began in St. Louis in 1983 and is designed to assist the University of Missouri and Lincoln University with a mission of bringing horticultural information to the public. The Master Gardener Program throughout Missouri promotes and raises public awareness of the University of Missouri Extension as a source of unbiased, research based gardening information. Master Gardeners of Greene County in Springfield, MO was formed in 1984 to continue that mission, contributing thousands of hours each year in the Springfield area and surrounding region.

2021 Bylaws Master Gardeners of Greene County


Kelly McGowan

President: John Burns
Vice President: Renae Bernskoetter
Secretary: Barbara Ingalsbe
Treasurer: Caroline Griesemer
Dwight Lindsay
Shae Johnson
Lisa Putnam
Angie Hutsell
Deanna Haworth

Membership Chair: Renae Bernskoetter
Chapter News: Barbara Ingalsbe
Emeritus Care: Mardell Bontrager
Historian/Archivist: Vacant
Hours Reporting and Roster: Kelly McGowan
Member Care: Carol Taylor
Mentoring: Angie Hutsell
Social: J.J. Averett

Nathanael Greene Demonstration Garden
Demonstration Gardens Chair: Dwight Lindsay
Hardscape: Dwight Lindsay
Irrigation: Glenn Blake
Mulch and Compost: Carl Redmon

Herbs: Barb Emge
Natives: Native Team
West Entrance: Barb McDonald
Mixed Borders: Bedhead Team
Shade: Dellene Nelson
Turf Grasses: Randy Underwood
Vegetables: MaryFran Digirolamo
Berm: Vacant

WaterWise Garden
Garden Chair: Bedhead Team
Structures & Irrigation:  Glenn Blake
Mulch and Compost: Carl Redmon

Labeling: Gale Edwards

Redesign / Long-Term Planning: Gale Edwards

Hotline Chair: Joan Offerle
Meetings: Shirley Shipley
Trainer: Barbara Ingalsbe
Scheduling: Janet Douglas
Data Entry: Vacant

Public Education
Public Education Chair: Vacant
Children’s Programming / Young Sprouts: Shae Johnson
Continuing Education: Kelly McGowan
Learn to Grow in the Garden Series: On hold for 2021
Potting Shed University: On hold for 2021
Vegetable Gardening in the Ozarks: Kelly McGowan
Speakers’ Bureau: Carolyn Crawford

Plant Sale
Plant Sale Chairs: Caroline Griesemer and Renee Bernskoetter

Marketing/Public Relations (MPR)
MPR Chair: Ken Bass
Ask a Master Gardener: Mark Bernskoetter
Fairs & Shows: Janet Douglas
Publications: Ken Bass
Publicity: Vacant
Public Education Publicity: Vacant
Social Media, Facebook: Christina Angle
Website: Malissa Nowack
Constant Contact (Public Newsletter): Kathy Rapp

Springfield Botanical Gardens / Friends of the Garden Volunteer Liason: Bill Aldrich