New Training Class, Fall-Winter 2017/18
2017-2018 Volunteer Training Program
The UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County holds an annual Master Gardener Training Program that prepares volunteers to provide research-based horticultural information and education to County residents. UC Master Gardeners are part of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), an outreach and public service unit of the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR).
After completing the training, the newly certified UC Master Gardener is required to complete 50 hours of volunteer service to the Cooperative Extension within one year's time. In subsequent years, in order to remain within the program, 25 hours of volunteer work and 12 hours of continuing education are required annually. The desire and ability to fulfill the volunteer commitment is a major criterion in the selection of a potential UC Master Gardener.
Applications can only be accepted from residents of Contra Costa County, and you must attend a free Orientation Session in order to apply. Click here to register for an Orientation Session.
Attendance: During the training program, you must attend all training classes.
- Location: Los Medanos Community College, Library Building, Room L-109, 2700 E. Leland Rd., Pittsburg.
- Dates: Classes will be held on most Thursdays (1:00 pm to 7:00 pm) starting September 7, 2017 through January 25, 2018. In addition, at least two Saturday classes will be included. A complete schedule will be provided at the Orientation Sessions. For successful completion of the program, attendance at every class is mandatory. Besides, they are so compelling you won't want to miss any!
Training Program Content: Classes are taught by experts ranging from UC faculty and staff, local horticultural educators, and certified UC Master Gardeners. Topics that will be covered in the training program include:
|Soil – chemistry and amendments||Water Management|
|Introduction to Horticulture||Fruit and Nut Trees|
|Plant Propagation||Diagnosing Plant Problems|
|Edible Landscaping||Abiotic Disorders|
|Plant Pathology (diseases)||Integrated Pest Management (IPM)|
|Entomology (insects)||Landscape Trees|
Homework: You should plan on significant study time outside the classroom, usually about 12+ hours per week. Minimum homework required for the training program includes:
- Weekly reading (typically 30-40 pages) from the UC Master Gardener Handbook and other assigned materials, resources of the UC Integrated Pest Management website, and other assignments.
- Weekly research to answer home, garden, and landscape problems brought into the Help Desk. Much of this research is done using the computer. Computer skills including email, word processing, Internet searches, and presentation software are essential and required.
Fingerprinting: As required by the UCCE, all volunteers accepted into the Training Program must be fingerprinted. Fingerprinting will take place the first week of class. The fee for fingerprinting will be borne by the student.
Application: An application for admission to the Training Program will be provided once you have completed the mandatory Orientation Session.
Fees: A non-refundable tuition fee of $295 for the Training Program, made payable to the UC Regents, is due at the time of your acceptance into the program. Additional miscellaneous expenses may be required during the training course. Some scholarship support is available.
Training Class Links
For more information about what it means to become a UC Master Gardener volunteer, please visit our Join Us page.