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Maricopa County Master Gardener Program Overview

Become a Master Gardener Volunteer with The University of Arizona Maricopa County Cooperative Extension

    This site contains information on the Master Gardener Program in Maricopa County, Arizona. For information on Master Gardening programs in other Arizona counties or in other states, contact the local Cooperative Extension Horticulture Agent.

Upcoming Master Gardener Training:

Spring 2015 Master Gardener Training Class
Dates: January 6, 2015 - April 28, 2015 (17 consecutive Tuesdays)
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Surprise City Hall
16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374
Application Deadline: Nov. 4, 2014
Download Application

What is a Maricopa County Master Gardener?

    A Maricopa County Master Gardener is an individual who completes a University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County specialized course in gardening in the low desert. This person then provides educational leadership to the community in home gardening and landscaping. Maricopa County Master Gardeners help Extension in fulfilling the educational outreach mission by:

    • staffing plant question phone lines
    • giving talks to local groups
    • introducing children to gardening
    • presenting information at garden and trade shows
    • organizing educational programs and conferences
    • creating and maintaining demonstration gardens which showcase new plants, new planting methods, composting, new irrigation methods, etc.

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Why Become a Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer?

    As a Master Gardener you can help to educate and advise home gardeners in your community. Many newcomers and inexperienced gardeners in the Valley are in great need of gardening and landscaping advice. Our informative training will give you the skills needed to diagnose plant problems and give you the confidence to share your expertise with others. You will have the opportunity to work with school children, teachers, seniors, community gardeners and homeowners. You can develop public speaking skills or learn to use computers and other technologies.

    Being a Master Gardener volunteer is fun, interesting and rewarding.
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The Maricopa County Master Gardener Program

    The Master Gardener program and training is conducted by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension through the Maricopa County office. The training provides gardeners with the opportunity to improve their horticultural knowledge and skills and then share their experience with the public through organized volunteer activities.

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Maricopa County Master Gardener Training

    Classes are taught by University of Arizona Extension Faculty, professionals and other horticulture experts. The program covers the challenges specific to gardening in the low desert. A sample of topics covered include:

    • Botany
    • Plant Problem Diagnosis
    • Soils
    • Ornamentals
    • Pest Management
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables and Herbs
    • Plant Propagation
    • Turf
    • Desert-Adapted Landscape Plants
    • Cacti and Succulents
    • Composting
    • Landscape Design

    Training sessions are scheduled in different locations of the Valley on a rotational basis. Classes meet once a week for a three-hour session for 17 consecutive weeks. Please see the information below for upcoming classes.

    Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation, such as sign language interpreter, by contacting the Master Gardener Program Coordinator, (602) 827-8211. Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time to arrange the accommodation.
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    The session fee, which includes the publication notebook, training manual, books, insignia polo shirt and all handouts, is $275.00.

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Benefits of Being a Master Gardener

    Help to Educate Your Community
    • Help gardeners solve their plant problems
    • Promote environmental responsibility through water conservation and least-toxic pest control
    • Beautify the Valley by teaching about appropriate plants for our climate
    • Work with school and community gardens

    Education For You
    • Monthly Education Programs
    • Monthly Master Gardener Newsletter
    • Bi-monthly Horticulture Journal
    • Advanced Training on Special Topics
    • Annual Horticulture Tour
    • Annual Conference

    Fun and Friendship
    • Work with some of the most talented and interesting gardeners in the Valley
    • Participate in team projects

    • Win local, state, national and international awards
    • Take on leadership roles
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    To become a certified Master Gardener participants must complete the initial training class and donate 20 hours of volunteer service during the class session. There are a wide variety of service opportunities available ranging from answering gardening questions from the public, to planning public educational events, to working with school and community gardens. To remain in the program after the first year, a donation of 25 hours of service and 12 hours of continuing education is required annually.
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Who Can Apply?

    Anyone with an interest in horticulture and volunteering can apply for the Master Gardener program. If you have an interest in improving your skills and knowledge and the desire to work with people, the Master Gardener program may be for you. There are frequently more applicants for the program than slots available. Selection is based on history of volunteer service and level of specific skills and knowledge of value to the program.
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How To Apply

    All interested individuals are encouraged to apply. You will be notified two months in advance of the class about an Orientation and deadline for payment. Please do not include payment with your application at this time.

    If you are requesting financial assistance, please check the appropriate box on the application.

Download Application

Application Deadline: Nov. 4, 2014
Download Application

For answers to questions and more information, contact:
Jo Cook
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
(602) 827-8211
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To Home Horticulture in Maricopa County, AZ

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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Jeffrey C. Silvertooth, Associate Dean & Director, Economic Development & Extension, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona.

The University of Arizona is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities.

If you have difficulty accessing any portions of this page with adaptive technology, please contact Jo Cook at or 602-827-8200 x311.

Last Updated July 1, 2014
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