What is Master Gardener Education?
Master Gardeners are community educators trained to work in partnership with WSU Extension to teach the public and enhance the quality of life in the community by promoting sound gardening practices with research-based information.
The Skagit County Master Gardener program starts with a 12-week course combining classroom and online education. Training is computer-based with on-line course instruction, including a WSU Master Gardener Program Education disk that you will receive, along with a weekly hands-on learning at class held on Mondays at the Padilla Bay Interpretive Center, beginning mid-January.
The Master Gardener core curriculum includes lectures in basic botany, horticulture, soil science, sustainable garden management, integrated pest management, plant health care, pesticide safety, entomology, insect pest management, plant pathology, plant disease diagnosis and control, weed identification, tree fruit and small fruit production.
In Skagit County, the Master Gardener program is inviting student applications until October 31. We will contact you to schedule an in-person interview for the January class. Prospective student interviews are held the 2nd or 3rd week of November. The cost of the Master Gardener education is $400. A refund of $100 is returned to the Master Gardener after their volunteer time is completed by the end of their intern year.
Master Gardener Certification
Master Gardeners are volunteer educators in their community. After completing the training and scoring well on the chapter tests, Master Gardener interns schedule volunteer time at plant diagnostic clinics, work in the Discovery Garden and contribute to other community outreach and education events like rain garden education, community school gardens, and participation at the Skagit County Fair.
Master Gardeners interns fulfill volunteer time requirements to the program to complete their Master Gardener designation. The first year volunteer time requirement is 60 hours of authorized volunteer activities contributed to educational outreach, plant diagnostic clinics, hands-on gardening in the WSU demonstration garden, and other outreach and education activities. In their second year in the Master Gardener Program the MGs participate in 25 hours of public service, including 4 hours of educational outreach to the public and 10 hours of MG continuing education, but volunteers often give back much more. There are many areas of interest for Master Gardeners to specialize in!
How Do I Apply for Master Gardener Training?
Applications are invited for the Master Gardener program until October 31 for those interested in the Master Gardener Training class. To get a application, call the WSU Skagit County Extension office at (360) 428-4270 or download a PDF copy of the Master Gardener Program Volunteer Application.
For more information about the Horticulture programs at Washington State University Skagit County Extension, contact Alex duPont, Master Gardener Program Coordinator at 360-428-4270 ext 227.