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Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Advisory: WSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being provided virtually, postponed, or canceled. Effective March 16, 2020, WSU Extension county offices and WSU Research & Extension Centers will be closed to the public. We are available via email, phone, and webconference.

Become a Master Gardener

WSU Yakima County Master Gardeners learn and share our expertise with our community. Master Gardeners welcome YOU!

Who We Are…

In Yakima County in 2019 – 118 active and 24 emeritus Master Gardeners were able to pursue many activities to fulfill our mission of education our communities regarding WSU approved horticultural practices. Our clinic venues answered questions and helped solve gardening problems for home gardeners at our WSU Extension clinic, Farmer’s Market and Central WA State Fair.

Our Demonstration garden at Ahtanum Youth Park and our Heirloom garden are both teaching gardens where classes are normally held during the spring, summer and fall. Typically, we also hold courses four Wednesdays evening in March for the public. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, much of this has been postponed. Our speakers bureau team spoke to several groups throughout the year and our writers guild research and submit gardening articles for both the Sunday Yakima Herald and monthly Yakima Magazine.

Our Youth programs, both in schools and at community events, reached hundreds of youngsters with garden related learning activities.

Our Greenhouse allows us to propagate plants from seed or cuttings to be sold at our annual plant sale to the public in order to raise income to support our Yakima MG program.

The following statistics for hours donated to each venue in Yakima County include:

Master Gardener Volunteer Hours 2018
Clinic venues 1,398
Demo garden 1,245
Youth outreach 417
Program support 9,530
Other Education Delivery 268
Community Gardens 116
Volunteer hours 12,974
Continuing Education 2,361
Total hours 15,234

Your Commitment:

Training Materials

When we are able to resume training, this is what you can expect as a Master Gardener trainee:  you will attend 16 live 2 hour classes, probably on Wednesday afternoons. In addition you enroll in an online course from WSU that covers horticulture basics. There is a fee to cover training materials and classes. It is necessary to have a computer and high speed internet connection.

You are asked to return 50 hours of volunteer time within the year in specific areas. Upon successful completion you will be awarded a certificate with the title of Master Gardener.

As a veteran, there are no additional fees and each year you are asked to give 25 hours of volunteer time and achieve at least 10 hours of continuing education in order to maintain your certification.

We’d love to have you join us!

The Master Gardener program normally accepts applications starting in November and begin classes in January. Due to Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 not much has been ‘normal’. As a result, our current Interns have had many challenges achieving their requirements, and several of our veterans have not been able to get their minimum requirements as well due to the cancellation of so many of our outreach programs.

It is with great sadness that we have decided that we will not be able to take new trainees until Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted in 2021. It is just not fair to give you less than a positive experience with our program.

Please know, that any applications will be held and you will be notified when we will be allowed to interact with one another and the public again. If you have any questions or concerns, please email the Program Coordinator at claudia.steen@wsu.edu.

If you would like to be on our standby list, please read this Information Sheet and download this application. Return your application to:

WSU Extension Master Gardeners
2403 South 18th Street,
Suite 100
Yakima, WA  98903-1637

Contact us if you have further questions.

You will enjoy professional education in:

  • Sustainable Gardening
  • Composting
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Native Plants
  • Insect Identification
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Identification
  • Landscape Choices
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Plant Propagation
  • Lawns
  • Much, much more!

You will also enjoy:

  • A superb volunteering opportunity
  • Serving your community
  • Great camaraderie
  • Continued learning