Anchorage Master Gardener Course

2013 Fall Registration Application

Registration is now open for the Anchorage Master Gardener course which begins October 7 and runs through December 4, 2013.

Classes will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. – 3 p.m at the Anchorage Cooperative Extension Service Office (1675 C Street, Suite 100) unless otherwise noted.

Course cost is $225, plus 40 hours of volunteer time. The registration fee covers all materials including the text, “Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual”. Previous Alaskan gardening experience is a course prerequisite and we ask that you plan not to miss more than four classes.

Click here to review a tentative class agenda and don't miss Julie Riley's welcome letter.

Once you complete your application, you may consider it approved. If there are problems, Julie will give you a call. Credit card payment will be available on-line after October 1. Payment by cash or check will be taken on the first day of class.

We hope to see everyone soon!

Part I

By registering for the Anchorage Master Gardener course, you are committing yourself to 40 hours of volunteer service. There are many opportunities to volunteer. Below are five major categories of volunteer activities. Please mark the ones that interest you. These will be discussed in more detail the first day of class.

1. Volunteer Projects

Answering Gardening Questions

Without the help of Master Gardeners, many gardening questions would go unanswered. Answering gardening questions is an important service provided by UAF Cooperative Extension Service’s  (CES) horticulture program. You may come into the office to answer gardening questions over the telephone, but it is more efficient to handle questions via email. There are three ways you receive questions, 1) as inquiries from the Alaska Master Gardener Association (Anchorage) website, 2) from national eXtension 'Ask an Expert' referrals and 3) from emails sent you from the Cooperative Extension Service office when the horticulture agent is not available. Questions which you have trouble answering can always be referred back to the CES office. 

Garden Clinics:

Displays are set up at special events to provide gardening information. People appreciate being able to have their questions answered and obtain publications without having to come into the CES office. The clinics also provide a great deal of publicity for UAF Cooperative Extension Service and the Master Gardener program. Most clinics are held on the weekends, April through September. Big events include Fur Rendezvous, the Sears Mall Spring Garden Show and the Alaska State Fair.  Master Gardeners receive a list of  “Garden Clinic Duties” and a “Garden Clinic Tally Sheet” to complete for each clinic.

A Master Gardener is needed to serve as Garden Clinic Coordinator. Responsibilities include scheduling other Master Gardeners to staff clinics and help design the display. If this job appeals to you, please check below.

Classes and Presentations (for adults):

The CES horticulture program offers many gardening classes and presentations throughout the year. Classes may be taught at our office or through community organizations. Presentations are often requested by church groups and garden clubs. Master Gardeners are allotted up to 10 hours of volunteer time for class preparation. CES can provide materials for your class such as publications. If you decide to develop your own digital presentation (Powerpoint), you may need more than 10 hours of preparation time. It is suggested you teach a topic which is of special interest to you. It is often useful to teach the same class more than once. March and April are prime time for spring gardening classes and often need to be scheduled by February.

Gardening with Special Populations:

Volunteering your services and expertise to work with special groups enables people to garden who might not otherwise have the opportunity. The physically disabled, mentally handicapped, elderly, and incarcerated all benefit from gardening activities. In most situations you will work very closely with a health care professional such as an occupational therapist or activity director. Gardening knowledge and an interest in helping people are the only skills necessary. The horticulture agent will work with you to select a group to work with. Most groups meet 1 hour per week during spring and summer. A few groups meet throughout the year. 

Master Gardeners are also needed to work with the Refugee Farmers’ Market project. The group has an 8,000 square foot garden in Mt. View and sells at the Northway Mall Farmers' Market on Wednesdays and at the Spenard Farmers Market on Saturdays. Some help is needed in the garden but most help is needed getting to market and providing English back-up depending on the language skills of the refugees. If you are interested please check below.

Youth Programs:

Elementary School Presentations, include  the “4-H Talking Plant,” seed starting, and other topics as requested by teachers. The “4-H Talking Plant” is an innovative way to introduce students to the basics of plant structure and functioning. The “plant” itself is a plastic model (with a tape recorder) which the children help construct. Master Gardeners visit Anchorage area schools which request the program during March, April, and May (9:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.). Youth gardening groups can include 4-H clubs, neighborhood kids, or school groups. Master Gardeners usually get involved at the planning stage. Working with kids in the Junior Master Gardener Program at the Alaska Botanical Garden is another option for completing your hours.


2. When are you available to volunteer?

(Please check all that apply.)

3. I understand that if I enroll in this program to become a Master Gardener, I commit to 40 hours of volunteer service in return for 40 hours of gardening instruction.

Your typed name represents your signature.

Part II

1. Check the areas below in which you have experience.







Trees and Shrubs

Herb Growing

Skills you would bring to the program

2. Please list your MAJOR horticultural interest (only one)

3. Do you have a strong horticulture interest in an area where you have NO expertise?

Part III

Please answer the following questions:

1. How did you find out about the Master Gardener Program?

2. Have you volunteered for other organizations?

3. How many years have you been gardening in Alaska?

Optional: What is your age group?

4. Do you have a degree in horticulture science?

7. Do you belong to the Alaska Botanical Garden?

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