Alaska Master Gardeners
Alaska Master Gardeners are volunteers for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service and are located in communities throughout the state. To become a Master Gardener, you must complete 40 hours of horticultural training and, in return, volunteer 40 hours of time.
The training provides a broad horticultural background and includes the topics of botany, soils, vegetable production using organic and conventional techniques, integrated pest management, greenhouses, lawns, houseplants, trees/shrubs, flowers and invasive plants.
The prerequisites for becoming a Master Gardener include familiarity with Alaska gardening conditions and a commitment to 40 hours of volunteer time. Face-to-face Master Gardener training is only available in certain locations. The dates of classes vary as well.
Alaska Master Gardener Online is offered statewide. The course is ideal for those who live in a location where the classroom Master Gardener course is not offered or for those whose schedule does not permit them to take the face-to-face class. The course is consists of 12 self-paced lessons and should take no more than 40 hours to complete.
Master Gardeners are required to volunteer 40 hours. Your instructor will provide direction for your volunteer work. In other communities, Master Gardener volunteers work independently and may become involved in beautification projects. Examples of volunteer activities include the following:
- Teaching garden classes
- Working with youth and adult groups, such as horticulture therapy groups, community gardeners, and 4-H clubs
- Staffing garden clinics and displays
- Answering phone inquires on horticultural topics
- Developing demonstration gardens