The Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) program was established in the early 1970s after several Cooperative Extension agents from Washington State were overwhelmed with requests from home gardeners. Extension personnel began formally training volunteers in exchange for a commitment to spend a specified number of hours doing volunteer work in the community. Today's MGEVs focus on providing horticultural, university research-based information and gardening programs or activities designed to educate their communities.

The University of Georgia MGEV program was established in 1979. Georgia's MGEVs extend the services of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension through their respective County Extension offices.

Master Gardeners of Central Georgia (MGCG) was organized in 1994 by Mrs. Martha Duke. As the first President of MGCG, Mrs. Duke and other MGEVs worked along Mr. J. Frank Funderburk, University of Georgia Extension Agent, to form an organized membership focused on educating not only the public, but continuing the education and enrichment of the MGEVs and the horticultural programs in Central Georgia. MGCG is comprised of MGEVs from seven counties located within Central Georgia: Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach, and Twiggs.

MGCG members not only volunteered their time in educating and assisting the community, but they also recognized the need to give back to the community in the form of donations and grants. MGCG undertook fund-raising activities such as plant sales and the Spring Home and Garden Show. Revenues raised from these activities help fund three scholarships, support Junior Master Gardener programs in elementary schools, and fund other community gardening activities affiliated with Cooperative Extension offices.

Since its inception, MGCG has contributed over $78,000 to organizations within Central Georgia which include:
  • NAMI Central Georgia
  • ARC
  • NASULGC-Katrina Relief Fund
  • Georgia Master Gardener Association
  • Waypoint Center
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc.
  • Museum of Arts and Sciences Native Plant Garden
  • St Francis Episcopalian Church
  • Junior Master Gardener Programs
  • Macon-Bibb County 4-H
  • Houston County 4-H
  • Peach County 4-H
  • Crawford County 4-H
  • Cochran Community Gardens
  • Blue Star Marker (sponsored by Porterfield Garden Club) - Macon-Bibb County
  • Grace Village Women's Homeless Shelter - Houston County
  • Hafley Park - Houston County
  • My Garden, My Plate - Macon-Bibb County

In December 2011, MGCG became a non-profit agency committed to continuing the efforts of its members by providing financial resources for horticultural projects and the education of the public. The Junior Master Gardener program is a primary focus for MGCG as well as supporting the efforts of Habitat for Humanity, Hafley Park, the Native Plant Garden, 4-H, My Garden-My Plate and other horticultural-related community endeavors.

MGCG also offers four academic scholarships to deserving individuals who have maintained an outstanding academic record. Two scholarships in the amount of $500 each are awarded to deserving graduating high school seniors; one scholarship in the amount of $500 is given to an outstanding sophmore college student; and, one scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is awarded to a rising college junior or senior. Additionally, MGCG manages the Sylvia Utick Memorial scholarship in the amount of $2,000 awarded to a graduating female high school senior.

In 2015, our membership has grown to approximately 145 MGEVs who continue to focus on providing horticultural, university research-based information and gardening programs or activities designed to educate the communities of Central Georgia.

Past Presidents

Name Year
Martha Duke (Organizer)1994
Todd Goulding1995
Judi Luttrell1996
Roy Bass1997
Lamyrl Elliott1998
Edward  McDowell1999
Dick George2000
Jose Tallet2001
Edward E. Lusk2002
Johnny Branan2003
Barbara McKinney2004
Paul Garrison2005
Rosalin Tallet2006
Jose Kennedy2007
Diane Stephens2008
Sandy Lee2009
Kathy Yawn2010
Donald Compton2011
Joan Stibitz2012
Lynn Harden2013
Rosie Johnson2014
Rosie Johnson2015
Andy Rodriguez2016