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About JMG

The Junior Master Gardener program is an international youth gardening program of the University Cooperative Extension network. JMG engages children in novel, "hands-on" group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind.

JMG also inspires youths to be of service to others through service learning and leadership development projects, and rewards them with certification and recognition.

Youths can explore their world through meaningful horticultural and environmental science activities that encourage leadership development, personal pride, responsibility, and community involvement. The program incorporates service learning and volunteerism, which enables youth to make a positive contribution to their community.

Peer and cross generation mentoring occurs when JMG groups interact with Master Gardeners, community leaders and other volunteers. JMG Kids can be mentors to younger youth, by teaching them about horticulture.

JMG provides an opportunity for youth to interact and bond with nature. As they go through the JMG program, they can learn how to conserve our natural resources and make knowledgeable decisions about the environment.

The JMG program is broken into three levels. This allows the JMG program the opportunity to make age relevant activities.

  • Level 1 (for grades 3-5) contains the JMG Core Curriculum (Teacher/Leader Guide and JMG Youth Handbook) and the Golden Ray Series, Health and Nutrition from the Garden, Wildlife Gardener, and Literature in the Garden.

  • Level 2 (for grades 6-8) currently consists of Operation Thistle: Seeds of Despair, Plant Growth and Development. Future modules of JMG Level 2 Operation Thistle are currently under development.

  • Level 3 has yet to be developed.

There are three ways that youth can receive recognition from the JMG program.

  • Junior Master Gardener Level 1 Certification
  • Golden Ray Series Certification (Level 1)
  • Junior Master Gardener Level 2 Certification

For more information on how the curriculum is organized, or certification requirements, visit the national JMG web site FAQ page .