How does the program work?
In southern Nevada, the Master Gardener program is part of the social horticulture programming of Extension. The Master Gardeners celebrate 27 years of volunteer service to the community in 2020.
How does the program work? The first step is training. Extension staff, state extension specialists and local gardening professionals teach a series of classes to train volunteers in research-based home horticulture practices. There are 80 hours (20 classes) of instruction. Classes are offered on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the fall semester (September and October). Classes include three hours of lecture and a one hour "hands-on" landscape lab. A fee is charged to offset program operating expenses. Upon completing your training, you will be expected to volunteer community service time through University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
What is a volunteer commitment?
When you enter the Master Gardener Program you will be asked to sign a contract. In essence, you agree that in return for the training you receive, you will volunteer at least 50 hours yearly back to Extension. Upon completion of your training, you will meet with the program coordinator to discuss your talents and the needs of Extension. You will choose a placement that will best utilize your knowledge and skills while helping Extension to meet community needs.
When can I use the title "Master Gardener?"
After you have completed your training and fulfilled your first year volunteer requirement of 50 hours, you will become "certified" and earn the title "Master Gardener."
This title belongs to Extension and may only be used in Extension activities. Although volunteering for the Master Gardener program is great horticultural experience, it may not be credited to personal enterprises.
To maintain certification and be considered an active Master Gardener, you must agree to volunteer at least 50 hours annually on approved Master Gardener Projects.
What are some volunteer placements?
Answering telephone requests for home gardening information (702-257-5555) and staffing "Ask a Master Gardener" information booths at community events are popular placements. Master Gardeners also work with community partners (usually governmental or non-profit organizations).
Some examples of volunteer work are:
- Staffing the Home Gardening Help Line (702-257-5555)
- Offering "Ask a Master Gardener" info tables at farmers markets
- Serving as docents at area demonstration gardens
- Giving talks to the community on gardening topics.
- Assisting with horticultural research at the University of Nevada, Reno and UNLV Center for Urban Water Conservation.
- Helping with community gardens and school gardens.
- Hosting local horticultural conferences and workshops.
How do I qualify?
All you will need is a desire to expand your knowledge of home gardening and some time to give to the community. In southern Nevada, the Master Gardener training program is aimed at residents who have an interest in gardening and a desire to help others. Prior expertise in gardening not required!
- Call the Master Gardener Helpline at 702-257-5555 to be put on the Community Newsletter list. All registration notices will go out to those who subscribe to the newsletter.
- Attend one of our registration meetings in June. This session will give you a detailed introduction to the program, and you will have a chance to see if it is something that suits your interests.
- Fill out an application and go through a short interview. Applicants are notified of their acceptance in early July and payment is required at that time.
Interested parties who work in the commercial horticulture industry may wish to attend a separate Extension training designed specifically for them. Call 702-257-5501 for more information.
Why do we need a Master Gardener Program in Las Vegas?
Southern Nevada is one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States with a population that has topped 1 million. Our temperature extremes, scarcity of water and desert soils combine to give us one of the harshest growing climates in the world. Home gardeners are thirsty for information. Our Extension office receives about 4,000 phone calls each year!
Master Gardeners provide a valuable service to the community by helping Extension meet this demand for information. For more information about becoming a Master Gardener, please call 702-257-5501.
To find the nearest Master Gardener Program in areas outside of Nevada, call or write to your state or county Cooperative Extension office.
Directions to Master Gardener Orchard
The Orchard is located 100 yards east of the intersection of North Decatur and Horse Drive in North Las Vegas. The easiest way to reach the orchard while roads are under construction is to take CC 215 (North part of the Beltway) to Aliante Parkway. Drive north on Aliante Parkway 1.9 miles to Horse Drive. Turn left (West) on Horse Drive for 0.9 miles to the orchard.