Get to Know Us
Scientific Research is the Master Gardener Standard
All knowledge disseminated by the state-wide University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardener Program is based on peer-reviewed University of California (UC) research and literature. UC scientists, who are some of the top scientists in their respective fields, study all the various phenomena related to agriculture, botany, and horticulture. They study these phenomena objectively using scientific methods and disseminate their findings to the Master Gardeners, who in turn disseminate that information to the public.
Through the Master Gardener Program, the UC provides research and educational support to amateur and commercial gardeners. By training Master Gardeners, the program extends the ability of local Cooperative Extension offices to provide practical scientific horticulture and gardening information to the citizens of California.
The state-wide Master Gardener program is divided up by county. The goal of the UCCE Master Gardener Program in San Bernardino County is to serve as an objective, research-based resource to the gardening public regarding all aspects of sustainable landscaping, food production (vegetables, fruits, and herbs), and school/community garden startup and management. Through our online training, the Master Gardener Program of San Bernardino County has provided training to gardeners all over the world and not just in California, or in the county.
Our Master Gardeners are UC trained volunteers who come from all walks of life. They have completed extensive coursework and certification, have provided over 13,000 hours of expert gardening knowledge throughout San Bernardino and neighboring counties, and have completed over 6,000 hours of university based continuing education.
Master Gardeners volunteer through their local Cooperative Extension office to extend information to their community. Volunteers are guided by UCCE advisors and must adhere to strict ethical guidelines.
Master Gardeners are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others, and able to communicate with diverse groups of people. Experience and background in gardening are not pre-requisites to becoming a Master Gardener.
More About Us and Our History
Why Did the Master Gardener Program Start?
- The Cooperative Extension Service has been helping people solve their agricultural problems since 1914. Extension agents/advisors supervised Victory gardens during World War I and World War II and have helped community gardeners for many years. Today, Cooperative Extension, throughout the United States, helps both rural and city dwellers wanting information on gardening, landscaping, pest management and other plant related topics. The demand for useful information by home gardeners has skyrocketed in recent years. With the increased demand for information, a more effective way of providing information was required. A voluntary educational program that would teach people about plants and gardening, and they would then extend this knowledge to other people, seemed to be the best approach.
Who Started the Master Gardener Program?
- In 1972, Washington State held the first Master Gardener training program. Since then, Master Gardener programs have spread to over 25 states.
- California's program began in Sacramento and Riverside counties in 1979. The first classes graduated in the spring of 1980, and many of these initial graduates are still active in the program. Almost every county in the state now has a Master Gardener program.
Who Becomes a Master Gardener?
- Master Gardeners are people from all walks of life including business and professional people, educators, retired citizens, homemakers, and students. In essence, they are local residents of all ages and backgrounds with some degree of experience or knowledge of plants and gardening. They must posses enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and help others, and the ability to communicate with diverse groups of people.
Who Are the Instructors?
- Classes are taught by experts in their fields. They include Cooperative Extension Advisors/Specialists and faculty from the University of California at Riverside, Berkeley and Davis and other local universities and community colleges.