UC ANR Strategic Initiatives
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Posts Tagged: volunteers

Volunteers move 4-H forward

Events like the Youth Summits are planned by youth and adult volunteers.

We are able to continually move our 4-H program forward because of the work of 4-H volunteers. Youth and adult volunteers serve on club, county,...

Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 5:54 PM
Focus Area Tags: 4-H

4-H Runs on the Power of Volunteers

For some people, volunteering is about giving. For 4-H volunteers it is a way of living

Dear 4-H Volunteer, Thank you! Thank you for your dedication, courage and your conviction, for bringing your sense of adventure to share and...

Posted on Monday, April 8, 2019 at 1:02 PM
  • Author: Gemma Miner
Tags: Gemma Miner (1), thank you (2), volunteers (6)
Focus Area Tags: 4-H

We’ve launched! VMS 3.1 Ready to Soar

While the UC Master Gardener Program has been around since the 1980s, thankfully our technology has changed with the times. Most recently, the Volunteer Management System (VMS) received its long overdue upgrade – we've launched version 3.1! 

VMS 3.1 has a responsive design for tablets and smart phones, making it easier to navigate and enter hours from the field.

Great feedback was collected from volunteers and coordinators to lay the foundation for the new system. VMS 3.1 maintains all the functionality of the old system with up-to-date branding and design. Additionally, VMS 3.1 has many of the new features YOU requested. 

New features and upgrades were added to enhance the system, based on feedback from counties across the state.

Check out what's new!

  • Updated hours display (year and lifetime)
  • User-centric navigation
  • Automatic alerts and reminders
  • Search bars
  • ... and so much more!

It's exciting to have a system designed specifically to meet the needs of the UC Master Gardener Program. Enjoy the new features built just for you! If you have any feedback for future improvements, please submit your comments through the Feedback Survey at ucanr.edu/vmsfeedback

Need help? 

If you have any questions about the new system, help is only a click away. Check out our VMS help page, which includes a new VMS User's Guide and How-To videos for commonly used functions. See for yourself at: ucanr.edu/sites/vmshelp.

Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 1:09 PM
  • Author: Katelyn Ogburn
Tags: hours (2), master gardener (34), VMS (9), volunteers (6)
Focus Area Tags: Innovation Yard & Garden

Feeling at Home with Fellow UC Master Gardeners at the 2017 Conference!


UC Master Gardeners taking photos with friends and fellow volunteers at the social media wall at the conference. Photo credit: Sheila Clyatt
The woman next to me asked if I wouldn't mind passing the butter, then she adds, "Harlequin Beetles are a nuisance." I nod in response and we move on to another exciting lunch topic. I am at a table surrounded by strange garden loving enthusiasts and I feel right at home.

In fact, it is the 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference, in Long Beach, and we have descended on a very "posh" hotel with our sneakers, jeans and short practical fingernails. We stand out so much that it is almost humorous. We are a jovial crowd, relaxed and invigorated by the audible buzz of information and humor relayed at every gathering.

Some of the returnees appear to take everything in stride but I am so excited about this event that I push all fear aside and talk to every UC Master Gardener volunteer I meet. I am relieved to establish that UC Master Gardeners are totally approachable, love to share information and some can talk longer on the subject of compost then I can. That is quite an accomplishment.

What is so awesome about this event, is that when entomology is discussed instead of glazed over eyes, my fellow attendees become hypervigilant to the subject and even interject with commentary. These are my people!
I had wanted to attend UC Master Gardener conferences in the past, including the 2014 event in Yosemite. But each year after filling out the application, adding the cost of hotel and transportation I'd determine it's not within my budget. This year with the help of the funds raised by the previous silent auction made available to all UC Master Gardeners volunteers, combined with the cheap airfare on JetBlue I was able to attend.

Having fun with "face coasters" during the awards banquet and silent auction. Photo credit: Sheila Clyatt
The experience was amazing! Everything about the conference was exceptional: we ate great food, listened to stimulating lectures, participated in hands on workshops, and met wonderful staff and volunteers. I also gained an extraordinary sense that I was a part of something bigger and that my contributions back home held a more significant impact because of it.

Witnessing what other UC Master Gardeners were doing in their counties was both inspiring and reassuring. We might not be geographically close - but our goals, efforts and intentions were all in alliance. This comradery of meaningful contribution buffered both my stamina in the program and my commitment to its goals.

I hope that I might be fortunate enough to attend another UC Master Gardener conference in the coming years, and if so, I hope to see you there!

Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 9:46 AM
  • Author: Sheila Clyatt
Tags: #2017UCMG (8), Conference (16), Events (2), Gardening (20), Master Gardener (34), Volunteers (6)

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
Tags: Hours (2), Service (1), Volunteers (6)

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