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 40 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 52 counties across the state.
1887 - The Hatch Act established Experiment Stations to develop "useful and practical information ... and to promote scientific investigations and experiments.”
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.
1980 – 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.
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.
2020 - Celebrating 40 years! Missy Gable, statewide Director, “Our volunteers continue to set us apart. With the continued support and commitment from volunteers, UC, and local communities the program will continue to grow and support gardeners across the state.”
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!