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Become a Master Gardener Volunteer

The University of Arizona Maricopa County Cooperative Extension offers Master Gardener Training Courses.
Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Home Horticulture:
Environmentally Responsible
Gardening & Landscaping in the Low Desert
This information is on the Master Gardener Program in Maricopa County Arizona. For more information on Master Gardening programs in other Arizona counties or in other states, contact the local Cooperative Extension Horticulture Agent.
Master Gardener Volunteer Program

What is a Master Gardener?
Why Become a Master Gardener Volunteer?
The Master Gardener Program
Master Gardener Training
Benefits of Being a Master Gardener
Who Can Apply?
Master Gardener Office Locations

What is a Maricopa County Master Gardener
An individual who completes a University of Arizona, Maricopa County Cooperative Extension specialized course in gardening in the low desert. This person then provides educational leadership to the community in home gardening and landscaping. Maricopa County master Gardeners help Extension in fulfilling the educational outreach mission by:
staffing plant question phone lines
giving talks to local groups
introducing children to gardening
presenting information at garden and trade shows
organizing educational programs and conferences
creating and maintaining demonstration gardens which showcase new plants, new planting methods, composting, new irrigation methods, etc.
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Why Become a Master Gardener Volunteer?
As a Master Gardener you can help to educate and advise home gardeners in your community. Many newcomers and inexperienced gardeners in the Valley are in great need of gardening and landscaping advice. Our informative training will give you the skills needed to diagnose plant problems and give you the confidence to share your expertise with others. You will have the opportunity to work with school children, teachers, seniors, community gardeners and homeowners. You can develop public speaking skills or learn to use computers and other technologies.
Being a Master Gardener volunteer is fun, interesting and rewarding.
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The Maricopa County Master Gardener Program
The Master Gardener program and training is conducted by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension through the Maricopa County office. The training provides gardeners with the opportunity to improve their horticultural knowledge and skills and then share their experience with the public through organized volunteer activities.
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Maricopa County Master Gardener Training
Classes are taught by University of Arizona Extension professionals and other horticulture experts. The program covers the challenges specific to gardening in the low desert. A sample of topics covered include: Botany
Plant Problem Diagnosis
Pest Management
Plant Propagation
Desert-Adapted Landscape Plants
Cacti and Succulents
Training sessions are scheduled in different locations of the Valley. Classes typically meet once a week for a three-hour session for 17 consecutive weeks.
Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation, such as sign language interpreter, by contacting Darlene Lyman, 602-470-8086 x325. Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time to arrange the accommodation.
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The cost is $125.00, which includes the publication notebook training manual, and all handouts. Partial scholarships are available, and can be requested on the application form.
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Benefits of Being a Master Gardener

Help to Educate Your Community
Help gardeners solve their plant problems
Promote environmental responsibility through water conservation and least-toxic pest control
Beautify the Valley by teaching about appropriate plants for our climate
Work with school and community gardens
Education For You
Monthly Education Programs
Monthly Master Gardener Newsletter
Bi-monthly Horticulture Journal
Advanced Training on Special Topics
Annual Horticulture Tour
Annual Conference
Fun and Friendship
Work with some of the most talented and interesting gardeners in the Valley
Participate in team projects
Win local, state, national and international awards
Take on leadership roles
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To become a certified Master Gardener participants must complete the initial training class and donate 50 hours of volunteer service. There are a wide variety of service opportunities available ranging from answering gardening questions from the public, to planning a state conference, to working with school gardens. To remain in the program after the first year a donation of 25 hours of service and 12 hours of continuing education are required.
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Who Can Apply?
Anyone with an interest in horticulture can apply for the Master Gardener program. If you have an interest in improving your skills and knowledge and the desire to work with people, the Master Gardener program may be for you. There are frequently more applicants for the program than slots available. Selection is based on history of volunteer service and level of specific skills and knowledge of value to the program. Applications for the Master Gardener class will be distributed at the application workshop held at the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension office. Potential applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview after the application deadline.
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Master Gardener Office Locations in Maricopa County

In the East Valley:
In the Red Mountain Multigenerational Center
7550 East Adobe
Mesa, AZ 85852
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Monday and Thursday

In Phoenix:
Maricopa County Cooperative Extension
4341 E. Broadway Road
Phoenix, AZ 85040
602-470-8086 ext. 301
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

In the West Valley
In the P.O.R.A. Building
13815 Camino del Sol
Sun City West, AZ 85375
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

In the Northeast Valley
In the Via Linda Senior enter
10440 E. Via Linda
Scottsdale, AZ
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Thursday
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