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The Colorado Master Gardener Program in Boulder County: Grow with Us

Are you interested in gaining knowledge and helping others? If yes, the Colorado Master Gardener program is for you!

Participants receive intensive training in horticulture in exchange for a small tuition fee plus 50 hours of volunteer service answering gardening questions, teaching classes, mentoring special populations, writing articles, and maintaining demonstration sites. Alternately, those with limited time may choose to receive a Colorado Gardener Certificate, which provides the same training with no volunteer commitment for a higher class fee.

The Colorado Master Gardener/Gardener Certificate program is a great way to give back to your community and enhance your home garden, and is also an ideal stepping-stone toward a career in horticulture. The program is recognized by the Green Industry as an excellent vocational education course; many people considering a career in horticulture start with Colorado Master Gardener training as an all-around introduction to advanced plant care.

New Students

Click here to expand or collapse this section, which contains information on Colorado Master Gardener (CMG) training, volunteer opportunities, and enrollment.

TRAINING INFORMATION

Program participants hone their knowledge through 10 weeks of classes in horticulture taught by Colorado State University professors, specialists, and agents. Beginning with basic botany, the program focuses on plant health issues such as soil composition, plant selection and care, disease diagnosis, and insect identification and control. Topics include water-wise gardening, home vegetable and fruit production, turf management, irrigation, flower and tree care, and plant care during drought.

In Boulder County, two training sessions are offered each year:

Spring session classes (January-March) are held one full day per week during business hours. Snow days may extend the training by another week.
Fall session classes (September-December) are held two evenings per week.

CLASS SCHEDULE & LOCATION

In Boulder County, spring 2017 training will be held every Friday starting January 13 at the Larimer County Fairgrounds’ The Ranch. Class periods are 6 hours per day, from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For a list of class dates, topics, and instructors, as well as directions and a map to The Ranch, download the 2017 Spring Class Schedule:

TEXTBOOK

A textbook or printed information obtained online is required. It is up to you to decide which book format is best for your learning style, acquire it prior to class, and be prepared for class each day. Download textbook ordering information here:

MG Book Ordering Information (.PDF, 53 KB)

VOLUNTEER/COMMUNITY GREENING PROJECTS

The Colorado Master Gardener Program in Boulder County works to match volunteer interests, skills and schedules with ideal community greening projects. We combine partnerships with the Green Industry, elementary and secondary schools, and community service programs to promote environmentally responsible horticulture throughout our community.

View the gallery below for a glimpse into a day in the life of a Colorado Master Gardener in Boulder County.

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In their first year, Colorado Master Gardener apprentices provide 50 hours of volunteer time to the program during the first growing season following their classes. Volunteers help the community by staffing the Master Gardener office, staffing clinic sites at nurseries and garden centers on weekends, working with elementary schools, writing articles, teaching classes, and mentoring youth or other special populations, among many other activities.

2017 COLORADO MASTER GARDENER QUALIFICATIONS & ENROLLMENT

A desire to help others learn about gardening is the number one requirement for becoming a Colorado Master Gardener! While this is not a beginning gardening program, and having some Colorado gardening experience is required, you don’t have to be a gardening expert to join us.

Spring 2017 Classes (applications due Nov. 2, 2016)*

To begin the application process, please request the 2017 Application and Training Information. Then print and complete the Colorado Gardener Certificate enrollment form or the Colorado Master Gardener application. Or, you may request that updated copies of these documents be mailed to you by emailing comeara@bouldercounty.org with your full name and address. Please also let us know which program you are interested in. We will then mail you more class information and an application or enrollment form.

Those enrolling as non-volunteers/Colorado Gardener Certificate students may submit their application and tuition ($530) simultaneously; new volunteers/Master Gardener Apprentices must attend a short interview and take a brief quiz before being accepted and sending a tuition payment ($170).

*Check back soon for Fall 2017 enrollment information.

Current & Continuing CMGs

Click here to expand or collapse this section, which contains information on the current class schedule, textbook ordering information, the online Volunteer Management System (VMS), and reappointment.

THE COLORADO MASTER GARDENER (CMG) VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (VMS)

The Colorado Master Gardener Volunteer Management System is user-friendly, intuitive, and has many great features, including the ability to sign up for volunteer projects and continuing education events. CMGs can also report their volunteer hours and email other members through this online system.

Login page for the CMG Volunteer Management System
CMG GardenNotes #013, which explains the features and usage of the VMS

It is critical that new CMGs enter their contact information into this system when they first get access to it and that they continue to keep this information up to date, as this is the primary way we keep in touch with you regarding class logistics changes, weather-related cancellations, re-enrollment and more.

REAPPOINTMENT

After their first year, Colorado Master Gardeners who wish to stay active in the program receive 12 hours of continuing education and give 24 hours of volunteer service per year. They must also complete an annual reappointment form and mail a $25 re-enrollment fee to the CSU Extension Boulder County office.

Continuing Colorado Master Gardeners: please make sure your physical address is up-to-date in the Volunteer Management System to ensure you receive your re-enrollment form in the mail, or click here to download the re-enrollment form to print and mail in. Electronic copies will not be accepted.

All active Colorado Master Gardeners are invited to attend special lectures and events and may re-attend basic training sessions if desired. Thank you for considering reappointment into the Colorado Master Gardener Program!