Master Gardeners to offer training classes

By November 10, 2012

The University of California Cooperative Extension invites adults interested in helping others learn about gardening and landscaping to apply to train as a Master Gardener volunteer. UCCE Master Gardener volunteers learn university-based scientific information and then share that knowledge with the gardening community.

Master Gardener volunteers are people of all ages and from all walks of life with a common desire to help others learn about gardening and landscaping.

Any resident of Amador or El Dorado counties may apply for the 24 available openings in the training program.

First priority is for Amador County residents.Residents of El Dorado County will train in Amador County but will be El Dorado County Master Gardeners.

Applicants need Internet access. Most communication will be through e-mail and Websites. Weekly class quizzes and homework will be online.

Applicants should attend one of two Master Gardener orientation meetings to learn about the Master Gardener Program, the community involvement, and the participation requirements. These meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 30 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the GSA Building, 12200-B Airport Road in Jackson. Please RSVP to 530-621-5528.

Schedule an interview at the orientation meeting and get the link to the online application. Complete and submit the online application by Friday, Dec. 14.

Applications will be reviewed and the main criteria for acceptance: 1) prior community service, 2) experience teaching others, either by giving presentations, writing, or in one-to-one situations, 3) passion for helping home gardeners, and 4) experience with successful  gardening.

Interviews will be conducted during January and applicants will be contacted within a week after the interview with their acceptance status.

If accepted, trainees will be e-mailed a Live Scan form and list of Live Scan locations. A background check, including fingerprinting, is required to become a Master Gardener. A Live Scan session will also be offered at the Amador UCCE office in February.

Trainees will learn how to garden successfully and be provided with plenty of volunteer and continuing education opportunities. Topics and activities will cover basic plant science, propagation, fertilization, irrigation, soil, compost, vegetable and fruit gardening, trees, Integrated Pest Management (diseases, weeds, insects, small animals), research tools and outreach techniques.

If accepted into the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program, trainees will pay a course fee of $185 online or mail a check made payable to “UC Regents” to Robin Cleveland, UC Cooperative Extension, 311 Fair Lane, Placerville, 95667, by Jan. 25.

By Feb. 22, trainees will mail the Live Scan form completed by the Live Scan operator to Robin Cleveland at the above address.

Trainees will attend 16 classes on Wednesday, Feb. 27 and most Fridays, March 1 through June 28, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Jackson. Only one class may be missed.

Master Gardener volunteer trainees answer gardening questions at farmers markets, at the county fair and other local events, at the Master Gardener office, at the upcoming Master Gardener Demonstration Garden or at public classes. They help with program activities offered through a variety of internal committees. They complete 50 volunteer hours the  first year, then 25 volunteer hours and 12 continuing education hours annually, posting volunteer and continuing education hours on the online Statewide MG Volunteer Management System. They also attend their county’s monthly MG Continuing Education meetings as often as possible.

MG Volunteer trainees receive five University of California publications including the California Master Gardener Handbook; discounts on other UC publications; certificate of completion of class instruction after completing the 16-week training program and passing the take-home, open-book examination; monthly continuing education meetings with speakers and activities on in-depth gardening topics; frequent notifications of volunteer and continuing education opportunities and other program information; annual recertification as an active MG after  posting at least 50 volunteer hours online by June 30, 2014 and the joy and satisfaction of helping other gardeners grow more nutritious vegetables and fruits, making new friends, and working with others to help create a more sustainable environment.

For more information contact Robin Cleveland at 530-621-5528 or [email protected]


Master Gardner

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