UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County

UC Gardening Blogs

Celebrating volunteers and 5 million hours donated to the program!

The UC Master Gardener Program is open to anyone interested in becoming a volunteer and sharing gardening knowledge with the public. (Photo credit: Evett Kilmartin © UC Regents)
Every day, UC Master Gardener volunteers make a difference in communities across California. These incredible volunteers give their time to mentor, teach, and inspire the people around them to adopt more sustainable gardening practices. These newly taught skills and information based on university research makes for healthier plants, environments and communities - the core values of the UC Master Gardener Program.

All of the success of the UC Master Gardener Program is due to the hard work and dedication of its volunteers, for this we would like to say a sincere THANK YOU for all you do!

Volunteers make a difference

Volunteer hours focus on services and outreach to the general public, sharing research-based information about water conservation, green waste reduction, pest management, and sustainable gardening practices. UC Master Gardeners are creating healthier communities and gardeners through their love for gardening and hours of volunteer service.

Last year 6,237 active UC Master Gardener volunteers donated 328,540 hours. (Photo credit:Evett Kilmartin © UC Regents)
Thousands of hours every week are spent planning and hosting workshops, teaching at demonstration gardens, working with school administrators and community garden leaders, answering gardening questions from phone calls, emails and online, and so much more. Whether in person, on the phone, in the media or online UC Master Gardeners are making a lasting impact.

Impacts by the numbers

Last year 6,237 volunteers gave their time and shared their talents, resources and gardening knowledge with communities across California. From July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 more than 328,540 hours were donated, a monetary value worth more than $9 million. It is hard to put a value to the service volunteers make for the program, but over the course of our 35 year history more than 5 million volunteer hours have been donated worth more than $137 million to California.

“This year we celebrate hitting the impressive 5 million volunteer hour's milestone,” says Missy Gable, statewide director. “We are so proud of the UC Master Gardener Program and its volunteers and the incredible work they do across the state. This hour milestone represents thousands of volunteers giving their valuable time, horticulture knowledge and sharing their passion about sustainable home gardening with their friends, neighbors and communities.” 

Telling our story by reporting

Volunteers extend research based information on home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices. (Photo credit: Evett Kilmartin © UC Regents)
The growth and support of our program into the future depends on telling our story through reported contacts, hours and impact numbers. As the UC Master Gardener Program works toward building financial security for all counties in the state we encourage volunteers to record all volunteer hours and contacts in the Volunteer Management System (VMS) to ensure efforts are accurately captured and reported. Program activity is compiled at the county and state offices and reported not only to the County Boards of Supervisors but to the University, state and federal governments. We are proud to share our collective accomplishments and aim to be a leader within volunteer communities.

We look forward to reaching our next hour milestone together, a sincere thank you to our incredible group of volunteers, for sharing their passion and valuable time with the UC Master Gardener Program!

Posted on Monday, December 5, 2016 at 3:10 PM

What Are Those Red and Black Bugs on Milkweed?

Yule ornaments? No, just milkweed bugs about to reproduce. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Got milkweed? Then you probably have milkweed bugs. All summer and into fall, we spotted the...

Posted on Monday, December 5, 2016 at 11:22 AM

How We Can Help the Bees Through Research

A honey bee heads toward mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

How can we help honey bees through research? That's the topic that Francis Ratnieks, professor of...

Posted on Friday, December 2, 2016 at 1:21 PM

Holiday Gifts Buggin' Ya?

Entomologist/artist Stacey Rice wearing one of her prize-winning shirts--this one typifies UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So you're in a quandary. You have no idea what to get the nature lovers/insect enthusiasts on...

Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 5:59 PM

Norm Gary: Jazz Is Music to His Ears--But So Are the Bees

Bee wrangler Norm Gary clustered with bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Jazz is music to his ears, but so are the bees. He's been beekeeping and playing the clarinet for...

Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 2:06 PM

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4145 Branch Center Road, Sacramento, CA 95827       Master Gardener Phone:  916.876.5338             Fax:  916.875.6233

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