The first Massachusetts Master Gardener program was started in 1977 by Extension Agent Ron Kujawski at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. It was an active program until 1989, when state budget cuts forced a new approach.

The Master Garden program went in different directions. A small group of Master Gardeners formed the Eastern Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association. This group operated on its own until 1993, when the Massachusetts Horticultural Society (MHS) officially adopted the program, and began running its training programs as well as providing staff and logistical support.

The Amherst-area Master Gardeners founded an independent nonprofit called the Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. Barnstable County Extension became home of the Master Gardeners of Cape Cod. The Boston Natural Areas Network started a Master Urban Gardener Program for urban and community gardeners. 

In fall of 2008, the MHS Master Gardeners became incorporated as an independent, nonprofit organization, the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association (MMGA). We have volunteer projects throughout the eastern half of the state and have partnerships with numerous other groups including Massachusetts Horticultural Society (MHS), New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill (NEBG), Native Plant Trust (NPT), and The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Inc. (GCFM).

The Extension Master Gardener website has a history of the global Master Gardener Movement,.