UC Master Gardener Program
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program

Happy New Year!

Now that recertification is 100% done I wanted to be the first to say welcome to a new Master Gardener volunteer year!  In previous years, a welcome like this only applied to those programs that began their new year on July 1.  Now, thanks to the Statewide Master Gardener Program, ALL the California Master Gardener programs are beginning the new membership year at the same time, with the same expectations for all! 

This may be considered a minor point by some, but after working as a Master Gardener Program Representative for almost a decade, I applaud these fundamental “consistencies”.  In recent years, I have served on a number of committees related to UCANR and/or the Master Gardener program and I have really come to appreciate the balancing going on at the Statewide Master Garde

Balancing Act, courtesy of old-picture.com
ner Program level.  The Statewide Master Gardener Program is supporting us by developing a balanced approach to smart and sustainable program growth:  programmatic consistencies, advanced training opportunities, online resources, networking circles, marketing tools, outreach models and much more. 

As a Program Representative for two very different Master Gardener county programs, I am committed to preserving the flavor of each of my volunteer groups.  I don’t want them to lose what makes their programs unique in their communities and the specific approaches that have proven successful over the years in regard to outreach and education.  However, I do believe in a common “infrastructure” to all the Master Gardener Programs up and down the state so that the public understands exactly what our program is and what we’re trying to accomplish across the golden state. 

I want a Master Gardener volunteer to be able to transfer to a new Master Gardener program when they relocate and not have to be confused with different timelines and volunteer requirements.  I want the public to be able to make sense of what the “Master Gardener Training” is all about and what it entails no matter where they train.  That doesn’t mean trainings can’t be customized to the locale, it means we all agree to a level of consistency and quality that we can be proud of and share in.

As all of our Master Gardener Programs grow, we can flourish by keeping our roots tucked firmly in the fertile Statewide soil but allowing our local blooms to be as unique and colorful as we are.

Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 at 1:08 PM
  • Author: Kevin Marini


Hi Keven, will you please email me a copy of this article; I think it deserves a place in our Policy and Procedures manual....thanks,  
Bobbie Atkisson, President  
Madera County Master Gardener Program  

Posted by Bobbie L Atkisson on August 7, 2012 at 1:50 PM

That is a wonderful philosophy and goal - a solid outline with room for individuality. Also, I love that photo!!

Posted by Patty Sigman on August 7, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Thank you for your excellent points. Supporting the individual flavors of each county program, while allowing for greater connection between programs, is an idea whose time has come.  
As a Placer County Master Gardener, I can appreciate first-hand your excellent steadying and comforting direction to our program. Thank you.

Posted by Julie Barbour on August 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Nicely written and thank you for your thoughts. I completely agree we need a fundmentally consistent program.

Posted by Leah J. Haynes on August 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Kevin, Your approach sounds like a positive move for the statewide MG program. I believe that it would be helpful if the various MG county groups could somehow interact more easily on ideas and problem solving on issues that may currently only affect one or a few counties but are threatening to impact a large number of counties in the foreseeable future. Constructively implemented, this would also enable the MG program to better illustrate the value of their existence as well as the UC/ANR benefits, either directly or indirectly, to virtually all Californians.

Posted by Linda Haque on August 19, 2012 at 9:06 PM

You Rock!

Posted by Stephanie Gulcher on August 22, 2012 at 9:32 AM

So, does the new program year start in August, not July?

Posted by Benita Moore on August 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Having transferred from one county way up north, I for one can attest to the consistent teachings from one county to another. I was warmly aided in my transfer through Jennifer and welcomed and respected by those I armed to help. Thank you to all of you who have aided in the development of the program.

Posted by Carolyn Neumann on August 29, 2012 at 11:08 PM

california's mg program is improving all the time. i appreciate being part of an organization which strives to better the communities which they represent. thanks to all the mg volunteers and our leaders for moving us in the right direction.

Posted by Synthia Quan on August 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Thank you for your articulate letter supporting consistencey with flexability in the MG Program. And thank you for being a wonderful MG rep for Placer County.

Posted by Trish E. Grenfell on September 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM

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