The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) — Central Sierra, in partnership with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, will be offering the inaugural Lake Tahoe Master Gardener volunteer training beginning this September in South Lake Tahoe. Upon completion of the 50 hour training course, certified Lake Tahoe Master Gardeners will provide the community with research-based information about home horticulture and gardening. The training will consist of core programs in horticulture, native plants, soils, irrigation, pest management, plant nutrition, diseases, forest health, wildfire defensible space considerations plus additional topics specific to the Lake Tahoe Basin. Once certified, Master Gardeners volunteer 50 hours during their first year of service and 25 hours in subsequent years. Volunteer activities include providing one-on-one consultations, answering questions from phone and email hotlines, offering workshops and classes, writing articles in the local paper or online media, as well as many other outreach and educational opportunities.
There are UCCE Master Gardener programs in 44 counties in California with more than 5000 Certified Master Gardeners, volunteering over 258,000 hours annually. UCCE Master Gardeners come from all walks of life and have: a basic knowledge of landscape and food gardening; an interest in increasing their horticultural knowledge and skills; and a desire to volunteer in their community to share what they have learned and teach gardening skills. If you reside in the Lake Tahoe Basin and are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please visit http://ucanr.org/lake tahoe master gardener info or call 530-621-5528 for more information. Applications for the Lake Tahoe Master Gardener program and the fall training sessions are due by Aug. 7, 2012.