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Healthy Environments

University of California Master Gardeners preserve and encourage healthy environments with sustainable gardening practices, green waste reduction, and water conservation. UC Master Gardeners prevent, detect, and manage invasive and endemic species by educating communities about invasive species and safe alternatives.

Below are just a few examples of the many outstanding projects developed by UC Master Gardeners throughout the state. Visit your local program website for a full listing of projects in your county. 


Orange County REC Drought study center - © University of California
Marin County, Calif. - The Marin Friendly Water Walks program is a partnership between UC Master Gardeners of Marin County and the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD). Since 2007 the program has provided home visits to help homeowners identify ways to improve landscape water efficiency.  

"UC Master Gardeners of Marin County have saved residents tens of millions of gallons of water and completed more than 1,000 Marin-Friendly Water Walks since the program’s inception.  Trained by MMWD conservationists and UC staff, UC Master Gardeners visit home gardens, test for water leaks, suggest irrigation improvements where possible, and help with water-wise plant selection and sustainable landscaping practices." - Steven Swain, Environmental Horticulture Advisor 

UC Master Gardeners share ideas and empower local gardeners to improve their gardens, conserve water, and save money.  Homeowners receive a written summary of the evaluation, with suggestions for improvement. 

UC IPM collecting lady beetles © University of California
UC Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM)- UC Master Gardeners are key extenders of UC IPM’s science-based and environmentally sound pest management information to California’s home and garden audiences. UC Master Gardeners are often at the forefront of finding out about new and existing pest problems in homes, gardens, and landscapes.

“UC Master Gardeners have stimulated some of our research and have inspired many products the UC Statewide IPM Program now has to offer. I am constantly amazed by the enthusiasm, energy, creativity and knowledge of UC Master Gardeners. What an incredible service they provide for UC and the California public!” –Mary Louise Flint, retired Associate Director for Urban & Community IPM, UC IPM 

Each year UC IPM staff and academics train over 800 new and veteran UC Master Gardeners on IPM concepts and the availability of educational resources, including  the UC IPM Web site, Pest Notes, Quick Tips, IPM touch-screen kiosks, training modules, videos and more. UC Master Gardeners are essential partners in helping the UC IPM Program realize its vision of “Making IPM the way Californians manage pests.”

New Melones Lake, Calif. - The New Melones Lake Green Team has made connections with the local community through the UC Master Gardeners of Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties. The Green Team provides training and assists in conducting sustainable greenhouse and wildlife habitat restoration projects.

“Last year more than 9,250 visitors were served by the Green Team at the visitor center and museum at New Melones Lake. The Green Team focuses on the development and implementation for I.D. and management of diseased and dying trees and plants, control of invasive plant and aquatic species, weed abatement and rangeland management. The UC Master Gardener Program has helped provide us with research-based information not only to share with visitors at the center, but also apply in the field.” - Sandra Suchodolski, Natural Resource Specialist & UC Master Gardener

The UC Master Gardener Program supports the New Melones Resource Management Plan by helping to meet its goals regarding conservation, protection, enhancement, development and the use of physical and biological resources in the region.