UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program

History

For more than 100 years UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists have worked with communities across the state to address economic, agricultural, natural resource, youth development, and nutrition issues. For more than 30 years of UC Cooperative Extension's history, UC Master Gardener volunteers have shared research-based home horticulture information with the public. The first UC Master Gardener Programs started in 1980, with graduating classes in Sacramento and Riverside counties. Since these humble beginnings programs are now thriving in more than 50 counties across the state. 


Vintage pruning workshop demonstration - © University of California
© University of California
1862 - Sponsored by Vermont Congressman Justin Morrill, the Morrill Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1862.


1887 - The Hatch Act established Experiment Stations to develop "useful and practical information ... and to promote scientific investigations and experiments.”


© University of California
© University of California
 1914 - The Smith-Lever Act provided federal funds for cooperative administration of extension education by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)and the state land grant colleges.


1972 - Overwhelmed with calls from home gardeners, Dr. D. Gibby and Dr. A. Davison, Washington State University Cooperative Extension agents,  established a group of trained volunteers and called them Master Gardeners.  

© University of California
© University of California


1981 – The first UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Programs were established in Riverside and Sacramento counties.


2002 - The UC Master Gardener Program was officially recognized as a statewide program in California.


© University of California
© University of California
 2006 - UC Master Gardener Programs located in 36 counties; first statewide coordinator, Pam Geisel, hired. 


2014 - Over 20,000 trained and 6,048 active UC Master Gardener volunteers, across more than 50 counties, donated more than 385,260 outreach hours. 



© University of California Regents
© University of California Regents
2016 - More than 5 million hours donated by UC Master Gardener volunteers since program inception, with a value of more than $137 million! 


Become a part of the UC Master Gardener Program's rich history. Learn about soil, sustainable landscaping, plant and tree care and how to grow your own fruits and vegetables, while making an impact in your own community. Join the UC Master Gardener Program today! 

Webmaster Email: mgwomack@ucanr.edu