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.

2019 Bylaws Master Gardeners of Greene County


Kelly McGowan

John Burns – President
Renae Bernskoetter – Vice President
Secretary – Barbara Ingalsbe
Treasurer – Caroline Griesemer
Shae Johnson
Dwight Lindsay
David Chambers
Catherine Banks
Sam Johnson

Membership Chair: Rosemary Lloyd-Smith
Chapter News: Barbara Ingalsbe
Emeritus Care-Interim: Patty Garrett
Historian/Archivist: Vacant
Hours Reporting and Roster: Kelly McGowan
Member Care: Susie Joplin
Mentoring: Sandy Peabody
Social: J.J. Averett

Nathanael Greene Demonstration Garden
Demonstration Gardens Chair- Interim: Nancy Chambers
Hardscape: Dwight Lindsay
Irrigation: Glenn Blake
Mulch and Compost: Carl Redmon
Herbs: Barb Emge
Misc. Areas: Malissa Nowack
Natives: Vacant
Ornamental Grasses and West Entrance: Barb McDonald
Mixed Borders: Vacant
Shade: Dellene Nelson
Turf Grasses: Randy Underwood
Vegetables: Carl Redmon; Dwight Lindsay; MaryFran Digirolamo
Berm: Vacant

WaterWise Garden
Garden Chair: Ann Gunion
Structures & Irrigation:  Glenn Blake
Mulch and Compost: Carl Redmon

Labeling: Gale Edwards; Maryann Holt; Bobbi Ream

Redesign / Long-Term Planning: Gale Edwards

Hotline Chair: Patty Garrett
Meetings: Shirley Shipley
Trainer: Patty Garrett
Scheduling: Susie Joplin
Data Entry: Christina Angle

Public Education
Public Education Chair: Catherine Banks
Children’s Programming / Young Sprouts: Shae Johnson
Learn to Grow in the Garden Series: Vacant
Potting Shed University: Catherine Banks
Speakers’ Bureau: Ken Chamberlain

Plant Sale: Vacant

Marketing/Public Relations (MPR)
MPR Chair: Ken Bass
Ask a Master Gardener: Mark Bernskoetter
Fairs & Shows: Bobbi Ream
Publications: Ken Bass
Publicity: Vacant
Plant Sale Publicity: Vicki Hanson
Public Education Publicity: Vacant
Social Media, Facebook: Alisa Boyd
Website: Malissa Nowack
Constant Contact (Public Newsletter): Kathy Rapp