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University of California
UCCE Master Gardener Program of Riverside County
The first Master Gardener program was started in 1972 in Washington State. Since that time, Master Gardener programs have spread to over 45 states and four Canadian provinces, and boast more than 45,000 active volunteers. In California, Riverside and Sacramento counties began pilot programs in 1980. Many of those original graduates are still active today in the program. As of January 2000, California had 31 active county programs providing more than 130,000 one-on-one contacts each year. Master Gardeners have become a significant resource for gardening information and are the “official” formal volunteers of the University of California Cooperative Extension.
Master Gardener Volunteers are trained by the UCCE Advisors, Specialists and other qualified instructors to provide the gardeners of Riverside County with research-based information to promote environmentally responsible and sustainable horticultural practices. Activities of volunteers are solely educational - without inclusion of any purpose or intention of carrying on a business, trade, avocation or profession for profit.
Master Gardeners are members of your community who have applied to and are trained by Cooperative Extension experts in various aspects of plant science. Master Gardeners volunteer through their local Cooperative Extension office to extend information to their community. Volunteers are guided by UC Cooperative Extension advisors and must adhere to strict ethical guidelines.
Master Gardeners are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others, and able to communicate with diverse groups of people. Experience and background in gardening are not pre-requisites to becoming a Master Gardener.
Watch for Master Gardener Information tables at home and garden related events throughout the year. You’ll see us at the University of California – Riverside Botanical Gardens, Plant Sales in October and April each year, nurmerous rose pruning demonstrations throughout the county, Riverside Celebrates Trees, Riverside Home and Garden Shows, Riverside Flower Show and Garden Tour, Riverside County Regional Medical Center Foundation Spring Garden Tour and many other events. The Master Gardener program offers opportunities for continual growth and sharing with other Master Gardeners, while contributing to the community. Not everyone who applies becomes a Master Gardener trainee; quite simply, there are not enough slots available for every applicant.
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