Becoming a UC Master Gardener
Are you a Santa Clara County resident who wants to learn more about eco-friendly, sustainable gardening practices and would enjoy sharing that knowledge with the home-gardening public?
We accept new volunteer applications every two years (in even years; the next opportunity will be in 2018), then conduct training which leads to certification in the first half of the following year. If you want to be considered for the the program, visit this page during the beginning of even numbered years for information about how to apply.
The application process is a three step process:
- It begins with a mandatory informational session. This meeting provides an overview of the process and requirements for the program.
- If you're still interested, you then complete an application.
- We review applications, interview candidates, and select people for the new class.
If you are accepted into the UC Master Gardener program, you’ll be enrolled in a series of weekly training classes held January-May (typically on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) There is a fee for these classes ($300 for the class of 2017, subject to change in the future). UC ANR programs are open to all participants, regardless of their ability to pay. A limited number of need-based scholarships will be available. Details will be provided during the registration period.
As agents of the University of California, all volunteers must be fingerprinted and must pass a statewide Dept. of Justice criminal background check prior to being accepted into the program. For those who have lived in California for less than two years, an FBI background check is required.
Following completion of Initial Training, UC Master Gardener volunteers must complete 50 hours of volunteer service during their first year in the program. In subsequent years, 25 hours of volunteer service and 12 hours of Continuing Education are required.