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Master Urban Gardener Program

The Master Urban Gardener (MUG) program is an intensive, skill-building training program. Whether you’re just getting started or have been gardening for decades, MUG covers everything you need to know to thrive in a community garden - from vegetable gardening and composting to community organizing.

Each winter, 30 gardeners join the program. The MUG course is open to Massachusetts residents with preference given to those who are active community gardeners and demonstrate a commitment to sharing their skills with others.

The MUG program consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction, followed by 30 hours of volunteer service. The 2015 MUG classroom sessions will be offered on 6 Saturdays this winter starting January 31 and running through March 7, 2015. The classes will be hosted at the Boston Natural Areas Network office, at 62 Summer Street in Downtown Boston.

Each Saturday will feature topical lectures as well as participatory activities. Topics include:

  • Vegetable garden planning for bigger harvests
  • Botany and soil science for gardeners
  • Managing weeds, pests & diseases without chemicals
  • Composting in community gardens
  • How to facilitate garden meetings and workshops

Rather than paying a fee, Master Urban Gardeners give volunteer service to Massachusetts' gardening community. A suggested $30 donation helps to cover materials costs for the program. MUG participants choose from a number of service projects including Community Composting, City Natives, and Public Workshops and Events. By donating their skills and time, MUG participants gain invaluable in-the-field experience, while giving back.

Questions? Please contact Michelle de Lima, Garden Educator at 617-542-7696 x15 or

DEALDINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED! Applications for the 2015 MUG course are NOW DUE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2014. Please download an application using one of the links below. BNAN staff will arrange phone interviews with all eligible candidates in December.

Download MUG 2015 application as a pdf.

Download MUG 2015 application as a docx.

Download MUG 2015 info flyer to post.