Become a UC Master Gardener
The UC Master Gardener Program is open to individuals interested in becoming volunteers and sharing gardening knowledge with the public through community outreach. Applicants looking to increase knowledge and horticulture experience will be considered regardless of gardening experience.
How UC Master Gardeners make a difference:
- Promote environmentally responsible and sustainable horticultural practices
- Reduce fertilizer and pesticide pollutants
- Protect water quality and promote water conservation
- Compost green-waste, reducing landfill materials and improving air quality
- Detect and manage invasive species
- Raise wildfire protection awareness
Examples of community outreach from UC Master Gardeners:
- Fairs and plant clinics at community events
- Classes and workshops
- Demonstration and community gardens
- School gardens
- Websites and blogs
- Print and digital media
Become a UC Master Gardener
Process to become a UC Master Gardener
All new Master Gardeners (MG) must go through a screening process and training course. This helps assure the safety of everyone involved, and prepares one to volunteer in community projects.
1. Complete the online MG Volunteer Interest Survey
2. Complete a California Department of Justice Live Scan background check
An important part of providing a safe environment is to conduct background checks on all our Master Gardener volunteers and staff.
To have the required Live Scan Request form and instructions sent to you, email the UCCE Trinity County office at email@example.com
3. Create a volunteer profile on Master Gardener Volunteer Management System (VMS)
4. Take the Master Gardener Training Course, offered annually in the Fall
The training course is offered through Shasta College, and is a 52 hour, 3 credit course. Upon completing the course, an exam is given, and must be passed in order to continue the certification process.
5. The County Director reviews and approves MG volunteer applications after all the steps have been completed:
- You have passed the Live Scan background check
- You have created a profile on VMS
- You have completed and passed the MG training course
Once you are approved, you are certified as a First-Year UC Master Gardener.
Continuing as a UC Master Gardener
In exchange for education and certification, UC Master Gardeners are required to:
- Volunteer a minimum of 50 hours in the first year
- Volunteer a minimum of 25 hours each subsequent year
- Complete a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education per year, starting their second year
The required hours are self-reported online on the Master Gardener Volunteer Management System (VMS).
Master Gardener reappointment applications are reviewed and approved by the County Director annually in June.
Process to be reappointed as a UC Master Gardener
1. Update your volunteer hours and CE hours for the previous year on your volunteer profile in VMS
2. Complete the 3 required forms on your volunteer profile in VMS
- Annual Volunteer Agreement
- Code of Conduct
- Proof of CA Driver's License and Automotive Liability Insurance
3. The County Director reviews and approves MG volunteer reappointment applications after all the steps have been completed
Once you are approved, you are re-certified as a UC Master Gardener.