- Author: Samantha Dowdall
- Editor: Jennifer Hopkins
Are you interested in volunteering for the UC Master Gardener Program of San Luis Obispo County? Applications for the 2024 training class are now being accepted!
If you would like to apply in person, pick up and return an application to:
UC Master Gardener Program
2156 Sierra Way Ste C
San Luis Obispo CA 93401
Fee waivers for this 18 week training course are available!
UC Master Gardener Program training class fee waiver . Please note, a limited number of fee waivers are available.
During our comprehensive 18-week training program, you will learn scientific, research-based techniques in home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices. You'll learn about plants that will encourage beneficial insects and provide food and safety for birds and other pollinators. This course will help prepare you for sharing your knowledge with others in our community so that they, too, may become successful and environmentally responsible gardeners.
Our volunteers share a keen interest in gardening but we also value the rich and varied skills they bring to the program from their own work and personal experiences. You are encouraged to use these talents to help us improve and enhance our outreach efforts. Examples of these are:
- public speaking
- teaching and training
- being bilingual/multilingual
- organizational skills
The following steps are required to become a certified UC Master Gardener Program volunteer:
- Apply online or pick up and drop off an application at 2156 Sierra Way San Luis Obispo CA
- Complete a Live Scan fingerprinting and Department of Justice background check.
- Attend an 18-week training class, once a week from January to May.
- Complete weekly reading and home-study assignments and participate in hands-on learning activities.
- Pass an open-book cumulative exam with a minimum score of 70%.
After graduating, certified UC Master Gardener Program volunteers must complete:
- 50 hours of volunteer time in support of any program-related functions within the first year
- In subsequent years, 25 hours of volunteer time and 12 hours of approved continuing education hours per year to enhance their knowledge base to maintain certification
To help you decide if this program will fit into your schedule, please review the upcoming deadlines and time commitments:
June 2023 Applications open
September 30, 2023 Applications due
October 2023 Interviews
Early November Acceptance notifications sent
November 14, 2023 Orientation meeting
January – May 2024 Training classes every Tuesday from 12:30-4 PM
May 2024 Graduation
If you would like to meet some of our volunteers and learn more about the UC Master Gardener Program, please come to one of our informational meetings:
Saturday, September 9, 2023 2:00pm (Zoom)
Tuesday, September 12, 2023 (in person)
2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo 93401
We will be posting updates and reminders as these dates get closer. We hope to see you soon!
If you have questions, please email our help line at firstname.lastname@example.org/span>