What is the Master Gardener Program?
Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service by helping people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment. The class consists of 40 hours of instruction on different areas of horticulture and pest management, followed by 40 hours of volunteer service in the community. For more information on the statewide program and links to Alaska group sites, please visit our Alaska Master Gardeners page.
How do I become a Master Gardener?
You become a Master Gardener by successfully completing 40 hours of instruction and then volunteering 40 hours of your time in the community. Topics include: botany, entomology, flower gardening, fruit and vegetable gardening, lawn care, organic gardening, pesticide use and safety, plant pathology, soils and fertilizers, tree and shrub care, volunteerism and more. A Master Gardener certificate is awarded upon completion of the class, and a badge is awarded upon completion of volunteer hours.
Who can take the class?
Anyone who :
- Enjoys any type of gardening
- Desires to teach others to garden
Beginning through advanced gardeners are welcome!
When are Master Gardener classes offered?
Master Gardener classes are usually held twice per year during the fall/winter and spring/summer semesters, dependent upon the instructor’s schedule. Classes typically take place in the evenings; however, occasionally daytime classes are offered to give everyone an opportunity to participate.
Class setting is fun and casual; coffee and tea are provided and students often bring goodies to share. Students enjoy lots of hands-on projects, lively presentations and interesting guest speakers.
Watch this spot for information on the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 Master Gardener classes. A brochure and link to classes will be available soon.
What does it cost?
The cost of training Master Gardeners varies.
A fee in the Tanana District is charged to cover the cost of supplies and literature used in training, including the Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual.
Tanana Valley Master Gardener Update
How do I fulfill my volunteer commitment?
After completing the class, you have two years to fulfill your 40-hour volunteer commitment. Master Gardeners assist Extension in reaching Alaskans with gardening information by:
- Visiting garden sites
- Working in information booths at community
events, fairs and malls
- Maintaining demonstration gardens
- Teaching horticulture to beginning gardeners
- Using special talents, such as writing,
photography and drawing, to benefit others
- Exploring environmental options
- Helping to plant educational gardens
More volunteer opportunities will be discussed in class!
Information and resources: