New Training Class, Fall-Winter 2013-2014
2013-14 Volunteer Training Program
The Contra Costa Master Gardener Training Program trains volunteers to provide research-based horticultural information and education to County residents. 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 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 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: 301 E. 13th Street, Antioch (St. George's Episcopal Church)
- Secondary Location: A few classes will be held at 75 Santa Barbara Road, 2nd Floor, Pleasant Hill (offices of Contra Costa County UC Cooperative Extension)
- Dates: Classes will be held on Thursdays, beginning on October 3, 2013, continuing through February 20, 2014.
- Time: Each class session will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with a lunch break.
Training Program Content: Classes are taught by experts ranging from UC faculty and staff, local horticultural educators, and certified Master Gardeners. Topics that will be covered in the training program include:
|Soil – chemistry and amendments||Composting & Vermiculture|
|Introduction to Horticulture||Water Management|
|Edible Landscaping||Fruit and Nut Trees|
|Plant Pathology (diseases)||Diagnosing Plant Problems|
|Entomology (insects)||Abiotic Disorders|
|Weeds / Invasive Plants||Integrated Pest Management (IPM)|
|Botanical Terminology||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 Master Gardener Handbook and other assigned materials, resources of the UC IPM 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 approximately $20.00 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 $225 for the Training Program is due at the time of application. If you are not accepted into the program, your check will be returned or destroyed. Additional miscellaneous expenses may be required during the training course.
Training Class Links
For more information about what it means to become a Master Gardener, please visit our Join Us page.