Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University

Our office is moving in July!

NOTE: June 30, 2022 will be the last day we will be open so we can pack and move.

Research projects and community programs scheduled outside of our physical office will continue as planned. If you need to reach us, email us ( or leave us a message on our voicemail, (360) 778-5806, so we can respond to you as soon as possible.

We will open at our new location on July 18th at: 600 Dupont Street, Bellingham, WA

Become a Master Gardener

Master Gardener Program Application

Form is fillable so be sure to save it, then print it.


Whatcom County Master Gardener Training
is back in 2022!

The information on the application will help determine if you qualify for the program, so please give thoughtful consideration to your answers. The application form will be fillable; you can save it to your computer. (Paper copies also available at our office.)


Application deadline in Whatcom County is November 30, 2021 – for training which begins in February 2022. Applicants will be contacted for open house information sessions.

Once you have completed filling out your Master Gardener application, please send it to Beth Chisholm Whatcom County Master Gardener Program Coordinator at (this is preferred method)

Email (to or hand deliver completed application to:

WSU Whatcom Extension
1000 N. Forest Street, Suite 201
Bellingham, WA  98225


September: Fall registration opens
October – November: Interviews and open house info sessions
November 30: Application due
December: Fees due


January 2022: Online course opens
February – April 2022: Class sessions
May – September: Volunteer internship


What is a Master Gardener?

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 Master Gardener Program is a volunteer program for people with a passion for plants, a drive to learn, and a commitment to serve. Candidates for the program may or may not have experience or knowledge about horticulture, but all have a desire to learn. By signing up to join the program, you are committing to serving the community as a gardening/horticulture educator. Trainees develop the skills and knowledge to become effective community educators on plants, plant communities, pests and much more.

Trainees receive over 60 hours of college-level, WSU-certified training. Lectures and labs are taught by university faculty/staff, local and state experts, and Master Gardeners. After trainees pass the final exam, they complete 60 hours of volunteer time as intern-trainees, assisting the public in solving their home gardening problems and answering questions. An intern is usually paired up with a mentor Master Gardener during this training time. Upon completion of these hours, they become Certified WSU Master Gardeners and maintain certification with continuing education and annual volunteering of a lesser number of volunteer hours.

Topics include:

    • Botany
    • Insects
    • Soils
    • Pesticide Safety
    • Garden Management
    • Landscape Ornamentals
    • Weed Control
    • Pruning
    • Plant Pathology
    • Sustainable Practices
    • Vegetable and Fruit Crops
    • and more!

The cost of the Master Gardener education is $300.00. Plus online course material of $75.00 (total $375.00) – study materials are included. Trainees must also submit to a national background check through Sterling Volunteers at a cost to the applicant of $14.00.

Limited scholarships available based on need. Contact Beth ( for more information.


Classes will be held remotely via Zoom with transition to outdoor in-person.

Time commitment

The process to becoming a Master Gardener starts with intensive 12-week classroom training, combined with hands-on training. Participants are asked to apply only if they can attend all class days. The training is academically rigorous and requires approximately 10-15 hours per week of class time and homework. The course has online components of chapter readings and quizzes, and a final exam. Participation is mandatory.


To become a Certified Master Gardener, applicants must complete:

    • 60-hour training which includes all quizzes via the online course, labs and a few Saturday field trips.
    • Score 80% or better on the final exam
    • Complete 60 hours of volunteer time as an MG intern (May – September)
    • Professional Horticulture option available (Coursework without volunteer commitment)

For more information, please contact: Beth Chisholm, Master Gardener Coordinator, (360) 778-5811,

Learn more about the statewide program at:



Master Gardener Program

Cultivating plants, people and communities since 1973.


Program Contact:

Beth Chisholm, Program Coordinator
(360) 778-5811

Program Priorities Map

Helpful Resources:


Upcoming Events:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some events may be postponed or cancelled.

Partial map of Hovander Gardens

Hovander Demonstration Gardens Brochure