The Butte County Master Gardener Program is open to individuals with or without gardening experience who wish to increase their horticultural knowledge and skills. They must also have a desire to serve their community via our local volunteer programs. These programs are the cornerstone of the Master Gardener concept and provide important community outreach from the University of California's Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources (UC ANR). Our local outreach includes: staffing our gardening Hotline and information booths at farmers markets and other events; designing and maintaining our Demonstration Garden at Patrick Ranch; running a Children’s Program; and disseminating county specific information for home gardeners through workshops, presentations, articles written for local newspapers, and our website.
Butte County Master Gardeners offer their training program from January–May in even years. In odd years, we hold Orientation Sessions in July and August for those interested in hearing more details about the program. The Orientation Sessions are advertised in local media and information regarding them will be posted on our website.
After submitting an application and being accepted into the program, each Butte County Master Gardener trainee receives over 50 hours of training from University of California specialists, advisers and other professionals in the nursery and landscape industries. As part of our training program, applicants attend a 19-week series of classes in plant science, soils, water management, vegetable gardening, entomology, integrated pest management, home orchard, turf grass, oaks, fire safety, pathology, weeds, pest control and more. After passing a written examination and completing a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service the first year, new trainees are certified as Master Gardeners. To maintain their certification, Master Gardeners need to complete 25 volunteer hours and 12 hours of continuing education on an annual basis. UC Master Gardeners are also expected to abide by a code of conduct when performing volunteer work in their community.