The conference brings together dedicated volunteers, advisors, specialists and industry leaders from across the country to discuss the latest in home horticulture. Feedback from the previous conference and suggestions you provided via surveys, phone calls and committees shaped this year's sessions, speakers and schedule. Download the Registration and Tour Checklist before you start the registration process and prepare your conference journey.
$295 registration fee includes:
- 58 breakout sessions with first-class speakers
- 2 keynote speakers
- Welcome conference bag and water bottle
- Awards Banquet dinner
- Breakfast, lunch and snacks
- Conference activities: MarketPlace, Search for Excellence, Silent Auction, book signings … and more!
Special conference rate:
- $169 single/double occupancy
- $194 triple occupancy
- $219 quadruple occupancy
Make your reservation at the discounted conference rate online using the direct UC Master Gardener Conference link, or call (562) 491-1234. Remember to refer to the "UC Master Gardener Conference" room block when booking.
Conference tour offerings
- Explore the Huntington Botanical Gardens
- Go California Native!
- Community Engagement with Gardens and Nature
- Dramatic Gardens from the Desert to the Sea
- Los Angeles Farms and Garden History
- Visit the Activities – Tour webpage for more detailed information
This event only takes place every three years so don't miss this unique opportunity to learn, be inspired and make new connections. Please join us for this engaging event and we look forward to seeing you in Long Beach!
- Author: Scott Parker
- Author: Marcy Sousa
UC Master Gardener volunteers, program coordinators and advisors from around the state are invited to submit their innovative educational and outreach projects by the May 1, 2017 deadline.
Search for Excellence Prizes
The stakes have been raised and the prizes are bigger than ever before! For the first time the grand prize winner of the Search for Excellence awards will receive $1,500 for their county program. Second place winner receives $1,000 and third place winner receives $500 for their county program.
Search for Excellence Categories
Search for Excellence gives county programs the opportunity to share successful and innovative projects in the following seven areas:
- Community service
- Demonstration garden
- Innovative project
- Research (applied scientific methodology)
- Special needs audience
- Workshop or presentation
- Youth program
All applicants, regardless of award status, are strongly encouraged to submit a poster for display at the conference as an opportunity to share their ideas with other county programs. Winners to be announced June 2017.
For questions about submitting a project contact your local program coordinator or advisor. Additional information and forms can be found on the conference website on the Search for Excellence webpage, ucanr.edu/sites/2017MGConference/Activities/SFE/
We look forward to learning about the creative and impactful projects from counties big and small!
(Please include county name in subject line for all email communications)
Southern California (San Luis Obispo, Kern, San Bernardino, and south)
Program Coordinator, San Diego
Phone: (858) 822-6932
Northern California (Monterey, Kings, Tulare, Inyo and north)
Program Coordinator, San Joaquin
Phone: (209) 953-6111
Save-the-Date: 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference in Long Beach, Calif.
August 22-25, 2017
The triennial 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference is taking place Aug. 22-25, 2017 in Long Beach, Calif. The UC Master Gardener Conference is one of the largest gathering of certified Master Gardener volunteers in the world. The last conference in 2014 saw more than 700 attendees who represented 45 counties across California.
The quality and value of the conference is unparalleled in the industry; bringing together leaders in home horticulture and sharing the latest UC research from the field.
- 99% of conference attendees surveyed said they would recommend the conference to a friend or colleague
- 94% of attendees reported being satisfied with the conference topics and training
- 92% reported speakers met or exceeded expectations
Location, Location, location!
Things to do:
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- Rainbow Lagoon Park Shoreline Village
- Queen Mary (5 min.)
- Catalina Island
- Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens (1 hr. drive)
- Disneyland (30 min.)
- J. Paul Getty Museum (1 hr. drive)
Hyatt Regency Long Beach
The Hyatt Regency offers 528 recently renovated guest rooms with spectacular ocean views and access to deluxe amenities, including: spa, fitness room, business center and an outdoor pool. Each room includes down comforters, remodeled bathrooms and are all PURE hypoallergenic compliant which provides a better night's sleep for all guests.
A reduced rate has been negotiated for all conference attendees, the reduced conference hotel rate is not yet available for booking. Room rate details and the process for booking will be announced in future conference communications. All hotel information will also be added to the conference website, check back often for details.
Join us and be inspired
The triennial conference is an important statewide event designed to train volunteers with the most current and up-to-date research-based horticulture information. Training from the statewide conference is used as a jumping board for local-county based programs to be inspired by speakers, content and each other. Attendees are encouraged to share the information in their own county-based programs.
- Book Signings
- Photo Contest
- Poster Session
- Search for Excellence
- Silent Auction
- Vendor Mall
The 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference is a fantastic opportunity to network and visit with fellow UC Master Gardener volunteers from all over California. Save-the-date and see you Aug. 22-25, 2017 in Long Beach!
Visit the conference website for more details, ucanr.edu/2017mgconference.
With more than 650 participants, including 48 break-out sessions and four keynote speakers there was a wealth of knowledge and experience available to all that attended the triennial 2014 UC Master Gardener Conference.
Welcome & keynotes
Two keynote speakers followed Johnson's inspirational welcome, Doug Tallamy a professor in Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, and Alan McHughen a public sector educator, scientist and consumer advocate for UC Riverside. Tallamy, author of “Bringing Nature Home”, presented the importance of biodiversity in our ecosystems.
“Replacing half of the area that is now barren lawns with plants that are best at supporting food webs would create over 20 million acres of connectivity [nationally] and go a long way sustaining biodiversity in the future,” encourages Tallamy.
The opening day's final keynote speaker, Alan McHughen, presented on what every UC Master Gardener should know about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). His presentation was focused around his research findings, published in “Pandora's Picnic Basket”. McHughen explained the basics of rDNA technology and how it is used in agriculture and horticulture.
A magical night at Tenaya
The silent auction was a huge success with many counties donating beautiful baskets of local goods and handmade items. The total raised from the silent auction was more than $6,400! All of the money raised will go to offset the cost of registration for the 2017 conference.
Of the $6,400 raised, $600 was set aside for need-based scholarships. We're happy to announce the statewide UC Master Gardener Program and UC ANR are matching the $600, bringing the total up to an impressive $1800 to support need-based scholarships in 2017.
Sessions, sessions, and more sessions!
Visit the conference website to download some of this year's most memorable presentations. Many generous speakers have offered to share their presentations for future reference with conference attendees, visit the conference website to view the uploaded presentations.
Following a full day of learning, attendees were invited to join together in the grand ballroom for dinner. Renee Shepherd, owner of Renee's Garden, joined UC Master Gardeners for dinner as the night's keynote speaker. Shepherd discussed her pioneering career in the seed business as well as future trends in the gardening industry. She also explained the differences between heirlooms, hybrids and open pollinated seed varieties during her presentation titled, “A Seedy Business”.
Search for Excellence Winners and Honoring Pam Geisel
Following the winning Search for Excellence presentations was attendees enjoyed a heart-warming celebration of gratitude for Pam Geisel, honoring her years of service to the UC Master Gardener Program. Geisel began her career with Cooperative Extension in 1981 as an environmental horticulture advisor. In 2006, Geisel became the first statewide director of the UC Master Gardener Program, helping to establish the program under the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) and doubling program reach before her retirement in 2013. UC ANR's Associate Vice President, Bill Frost, was at the conference to recognize Geisel for her contributions to the program and awarded her with the 2014 ANR Distinguished Service award for Outstanding Leadership.
The conference's final keynote presenter, Dan Heims of Terra Nova Nurseries, delivered a presentation on “Humor from the Horticultural Trenches” with many outrageous remarks and requests from the perspective of a garden clerk. Before attendees got on the road to travel home, a generous donation of plants from Monrovia were awarded to some lucky attendees.
See you in Southern California in 2017
Many thanks to the numerous volunteer, host counties and conference planning committee members who made the 2014 conference a reality. Without their dedication and support the conference would not have been possible. We look forward to reaping the harvest of our success in growing together at the 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference in Southern California.
Do you have a suggestion for the next conference or feedback for this year's event? Let us know at ucanr.edu/mgfeedback.
Are you interested in being put on the wait-list for future registration openings? Click here and fill out the online survey and be place in line for registration openings, openings are filled in the order the survey is completed.
It's not too late for you (and your guests) to sign up for conference tours! Don't wait to register for one of many exciting conference tours still available:
Campfire and Train Ride
All Aboard! An exciting four mile railroad excursion at Yosemite Park's South gate on Highway 41. Ride into history where powerful locomotives once hauled massive log trains through the Sierra Mountains and where mighty lumberjacks felled the timber and flumes carried the lumber to the distant valley below.
The Sierra National Forest's majestic woods provide the backdrop for this narrow gauge journey back in time. Peer into the past! A New York steak, chicken or vegetarian dinner with all the fixins' is included in the price, and a no host bar is available. Enjoy a campfire under the stars while you listen to a local guide tell stories of times past.
Loofa Farm & Mount Bullion Vineyard
The loofa is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Contrary to popular belief, loofas grow on a vine, not in the ocean. Located in the Yosemite foothills, this tour of a working loofa farm is scheduled one week prior to harvest! Handmade crèmes, lotions, soaps and loofahs are available for purchase, and of course, all products are grown and crafted on site.
Following the loofa farm tour you will travel to Mt. Bullion Vineyard, where grapes are grown, fermented, barreled, aged, bottled and cellared. A visit to the winery is by appointment only. Lunch will be provided at the winery. The tour also includes transportation to and from Tenaya Lodge.
Gardens of the Central Valley
Clovis Botanical Garden is the only botanical garden in the San Joaquin Valley. It is a one-acre water-wise demonstration garden that showcases beautiful plants and landscapes appropriate for the hot summers and cool winters of California's Central Valley. While strolling through the garden learn about the “Sensational 70”, plants friendly to Central Valley landscapes which are attractive, water-wise, and non-invasive. Enjoy lunch at the home and garden of one of our own Master Gardeners of Fresno County. This lovely garden demonstrates a diversity of plant materials utilizing sustainable practices, and other unique features.
The Forestiere Underground Gardens is a Fresno City and county historical site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Explore the underground maze of rooms, courtyards, and passageways reminiscent of the ancient catacombs, all hand-carved out of hard-pan. See unique fruit-producing trees, shrubs, and vines growing underground – some over 90 years old. Water, wine and snacks on the return trip to the Tenaya Lodge. Arrive back at the Lodge in time for the Cowboy Dinner, Train Ride, and Campfire.