Master Gardener Program Expands to Coachella Valley

UC Riverside Palm Desert Center building

UC Riverside Palm Desert Center

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Get growing with the University of California Master Gardener program, which is now available at the University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert Center. This new program has been customized for the Coachella Valley’s unique climate and plant palette.

Who can join? Everyone who wants to get their hands dirty! The UC master gardener program is open to individuals who wish to increase their knowledge and horticultural skills — no previous experience necessary. Individuals can get firmly planted with everything they need to develop their green thumb.

The course begins after submitting an application and being accepted into the program. Each master gardener will then receive more than 50 hours of training from University of California specialists, advisors and other professionals. Classes meet three times per month and run from September through February. Class topics include botany, composting, soils, water management, entomology, plant pathology, fruit/ornamental tree culture and sustainable landscape practices.

After the course is completed, UC Master Gardeners are required to volunteer a minimum of 50 hours in the first year and 25 each following year. There is also annual required continuing education time.

Applicants should have a desire to make a long-term commitment to local volunteer and outreach efforts.  These programs are the cornerstone of the master gardener concept and provide important outreach to the community from the University of California’s division of Agriculture & Natural Resources. Outreach programs vary by county. Some examples include plant and pest hotlines, workshops, presentations and community gardens.

Sign up soon! Space is limited. For more information, visit about master gardener programs in California visit: camastergardeners.ucdavis.edu.

For more information about the Riverside County program, visit the UCCE Master Gardeners of Riverside County Facebook page and web site.

For an application, contact Stephanie Pocock, volunteer services coordinator, UCCE Master Gardener Program. Phone: 951-683-6491 ext. 230. E-mail: sapocock@ucdavis.edu.

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