Master Gardener Volunteer Training in Yavapai County
Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who provide educational information to Cooperative Extension clientele.
To become a Master Gardener in Yavapai County you must complete the formal Master Gardener training in Yavapai County, and then complete 50 volunteer hours within 13 months to become certified. After that there is an annual requirement of 25 volunteer hours and 6 continuing education hours to remain certified.
The 16 week training course, delivered by University of Arizona Cooperative Extension faculty and specialists, is held each year (January to May) with half day sessions once a week. Each year the course alternates between Prescott and the Verde Valley.
The course content includes current science-based information on such topics as: basic botany, soils, fruit tree care, planting, staking, pruning, ornamental trees and shrubs, water/irrigation, wildlife in the garden, insects, integrated pest management, vegetables, plant diseases, pesticide safety, and weed management.
Applications are available in November of the previous year. Applicants should be residents of Yavapai County for at least one year, want to learn more about gardening in the high desert, enjoy meeting others with similar gardening interests, enjoy sharing knowledge with others in your community, and have time to meet the volunteer and continuing education requirements. To obtain an application you may contact the Extension Office to be put on the application distribution list, or find the application on this website around November 1st. Submitted applications must be post-marked by December 1st. There is an application review process, as a limited number will be accepted due to space limitations.
The course fee is a cost recovery fee, and is dependent on the projected costs of materials, so it varies from year to year.
The primary focus of the volunteer work is providing science-based horticultural information to the community. Some examples of volunteer work are:
- staffing horticulture help lines in the Cooperative Extension offices
- giving talks, demonstrations, etc. to groups
- sharing horticulture information at festivals, farmers' markets, etc.
- assisting students in school wildlife habitats
- providing horticultural advice to individuals, groups, and establishments