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Join Us...Become a UC Master Gardener Program Volunteer

Students concentrating hard in Contra Costa's 2019 UC Master Gardener Program New Volunteer Training Class.
Students concentrating hard in Contra Costa's 2019 UC Master Gardener Program New Volunteer Training Class.

Volunteers for the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County are:

  • Residents of Contra Costa County who have been trained to educate the general public on science-based sustainable horticulture practices.
  • Part of the University of California Cooperative Extension, functioning as a link between the University and the residents of Contra Costa County.
  • Committed to extending best practices on home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscaping throughout the county.

Every year we select 35 - 45 people to train as new UC Master Gardener Program volunteers.  We choose people who are:

  • Interested in learning University of California research-based horticultural practices in order to bring that knowledge to their community.
  • Committed to creating a sustainable environment throughout the county.
  • Passionate about volunteering with our organization.

Applicants do not have to be gardening experts to become UC Master Gardener Program volunteers.  We train them!

  • Training begins in the fall and continues for 17 weekly sessions. Each session is six hours long and includes both lectures and hands-on activities.  Weekly reading and home study assignments are also required.
  • Classes are taught by University of California instructors as well as outside experts.
  • Topics include Soils, Botany, Irrigation, Edible Gardening, Landscape Trees, Plant Diseases, and Integrated Pest Management and much more.
  • Click here for more details about the upcoming 2019-2020 class.

After training, new UC Master Gardeners are ready to volunteer on our many projects:

  • Help Desk
  • Ask A Master Gardener tables
  • Growing Gardeners
  • Demonstration gardens in East, Central and West County
  • Speakers Bureau
  • Community Gardens
  • Marketing and Public Relations, and many more

People interested in applying to the UC Master Gardener Program must first attend an information session to:

  • Learn more about the Contra Costa program and how it serves the community.
  • Participate in a conversation with UC Master Gardeners to explore your interests and experience.
  • Receive this year’s application along with instructions on how to apply to the training class.

In 2020, information sessions for the 2020-2021 New Volunteer Training Class will take place across the County in May and June.  If you would like to be notified when registration opens for these sessions, please fill out the form below.

Request notification when registration for 2020-21 Information Sessions opens.  You must be a resident of Contra Costa County to participate.