About the UC Master Gardener Program: UC Master Gardener volunteers are recruited and trained to support land-grant universities throughout the United States and Canada.
Local programs are administered through University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) offices in over 50 counties. Our primary goal is to help solve problems that home gardeners encounter.
UC Master Gardeners extend to our communities the benefits of scientific research conducted by recognized experts in their respective fields. Master Gardeners are a vital connection between the University of California campuses and the residents of the state.
Purpose: The UCCE Master Gardener Program is an educational outreach program provided largely by highly trained volunteers.
We teach sustainable home gardening and landscaping practices, and connect residents with research-based information produced at UC campuses. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a primary focus of Master Gardener education.
History: The concept of Master Gardeners was created in 1971 by two extension agents in Washington State as a way to help them answer the increasing number of questions from home gardeners that was making their jobs impossible. They came up the idea of recruiting and training a corps of volunteers to serve the gardening public.
Pilot programs were first introduced to California in Riverside and Sacramento Counties in 1980 The Santa Barbara County program was organized in 1990.
Today there are Master Gardener programs in all 50 states and four Canadian provinces.