WSU Extension Pierce County Master Gardeners are university trained community educators, dedicated to providing unbiased horticultural knowledge and resources for free. As a Master Gardener you will receive an abundance of gardening knowledge to support your own learning and interests. You will also be a part of a large, diverse, and enthusiastic gardening community. While these are incredible benefits to becoming a Master Gardener, the mission of a Master Gardener is to engage the Pierce County community through hands on, accessible and free horticultural education and resources.
Becoming a Master Gardener is academically rigorous and maintaining your certification from year to year also requires dedication and time. Being a community educator and steward is not for everyone. If you are interested in learning more about gardening and environmental sustainability you can always engage in our numerous free community classes and events.
For questions regarding the training please contact email@example.com
Applications for the 2024 Volunteer Training will be available here on Sept 18th and will close Oct. 31st.
Please Join us for informational open houses.
Watch the Zoom Recording Posted Here
October 16th at 6pm at the Puyallup Demo Garden – Victoria Room
Please read the application packet before submitting an application.
Becoming a Certified WSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
Washington State residents must apply to and be accepted into a local county WSU Extension Master Gardener program. There are three steps to certification: (1) training; (2) internship; and (3) certification. To remain certified, volunteers must meet the state minimum service (25 hours) and continuing education (10 hours) and background screening requirements. Automatic recertification is not granted. Each volunteer must reapply to the program each year. Application, selection, training, and recertification requirements are described below.
Successful applicants to the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program must:
Be at least 18 years of age.
Have a strong volunteer ethic and interest in gardening. Gardening experience is desirable but not required.
Commit to participate in the WSU Extension Master Gardener Online Basic Training course and to complete the final exam with a minimum score of 80% and all quizzes with an overall average score of at least 80%.
Commit to participate in the local WSU Extension Master Gardener Program training.
Be available to perform volunteer work as needed by the local WSU Extension Master Gardener Program.
- Agree to use technology such as email, learning platforms and volunteer database.
Agree to donate a state minimum of 40 volunteer hours during the training year.
Agree to donate a state minimum of 25 volunteer hours each year after training.
Agree to earn a state minimum of 10 hours of continuing education (CE) each year after training.
Agree to document volunteer hours each month on our electronic database GivePulse.
Agree to sign a Pest Management Recommendation Agreement and Code Of Conduct Agreement
Agree to complete a Child Protection Training
2024 Application and Registration Schedule:
- Sept 18th: Applications Open
- Oct 31st: Applications Close
- Nov 6th: Applications Accepted/Denied
- Nov 20th: Registration Packet Deadline
- January 12: Zoom Training Begins
2024 Training Schedule:
- Friday morning zoom calls 9am-1pm
- 2 Saturday in Person Outdoor Trainings in May
- May – November trainees will engage in self-paced intern projects and work to complete 40 volunteer hours in various areas of our program.
- Any resident of Pierce County who inquires will receive an application packet including Application, Training Schedule, Pesticide Agreements, Open House Schedule. All applications are due by October 31st at midnight. Application submitted after that time will not be considered.
- Our Training Admin team will evaluate each application, contact personal references, and accept or decline applications by Nov. 10th. Everyone who applied will be sent an email notification of that decision.
- Those who were accepted into the 2024 Training program will be sent a registration packet. The registration packet will include links to enroll in the learning platform, signing agreements, or exemption, paying non-refundable course fees, and submitting and passing a background check. All this will be due Nov. 20th to attend the program.
- Those who complete the registration packet will be given zoom call links, mentor contacts and syllabuses for the program.
What is the cost of the class?
- $239 total. (The training fee is $150. The online platform fee is $75. The mandatory national background check is $14.)
- Only cashier or personal checks accepted.
- The Master Gardener manual can be downloaded for free, or you can purchase a physical manual for $125.
- No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact Jim Kropf, WSU Pierce County Interim Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-445-4526 at least two months prior to the event.