Who We Are
Who are the Butte County Master Gardeners?
The California Master Gardener Program is part of the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), based at the university campuses of Davis, Berkeley and Riverside. Master Gardeners provide educational outreach from University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) offices throughout California. Other UCCE outreach programs include 4-H, Farm, Nutrition and Consumer Science. The mission of the Butte County Master Gardeners is to extend research-based education and technical assistance throughout the non-commercial gardening community and to foster successful gardening practices by helping individuals make informed decisions about plants, pests and the environment, with an emphasis on sustainability.
The first Master Gardener (MG) program in the nation was started in Washington State in 1972. There are now MG programs affiliated with agricultural colleges in more than 45 states and four Canadian provinces. More than 17,000 new MGs are certified each year. In 1980, California’s first MG programs were started in Sacramento and Riverside counties. In 2008, UC Cooperative Extension launched the Butte County MG program. We are graduates of an intensive 17-week course covering all aspects of home horticulture, including soils and fertilizers; weed control; botany; entomology; pest identification and control; watering systems; and much more. Courses are taught by UC Davis professors and UCCE experts.
Master Gardeners are based at the Butte County UC Cooperative Extension office in Oroville, where we answer questions on our “Hotline”.
Our gardening outreach projects include the development of a series of demonstration gardens at the Patrick Ranch Museum property between Chico and Durham on the Midway. Already planted there are a Mediterranean Garden and a garden of “Butte All-Stars”—both consisting of plants that do especially well in our environment.
Master Gardeners offer a series of workshops in the spring and fall each year, as well as adult education classes in Chico and Oroville through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). These classes and workshops have focused on a variety of home gardening topics, including gardening with edibles, sustainable gardening, drought tolerant gardening, and native plants.
Master Gardeners also present talks and workshops at local garden clubs and libraries, and work with young people in local schools and Butte County Juvenile Hall’s Fresh Start Farm. Master Gardeners regularly host information booths at a number of farmers markets in Butte County.
To keep informed about upcoming classes and workshops, sign up for our eNewsletter.
And to keep up-to-date on Butte County Master Gardener information and news, visit our Facebook page.
Butte County Master Gardeners reach the public through informative articles in a number of regional publications. We contribute “The Real Dirt,” a bi-weekly column on home gardening, to the Chico Enterprise-Record. Our articles also run in the Oroville Mercury-Register and the Gridley Herald, and appear on our website.