About the Master Gardener Program
The Master Gardener Program is a volunteer development program offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. It is designed to increase the availability of research based horticultural information and improve the quality of life through horticultural projects.
What’s a Master Gardener?
Master Gardeners are highly trained volunteers working with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to provide residents with information on environmentally responsible gardening and landscaping. They provide unbiased, research-based information, problemsolving expertise and educational opportunities to residents.
Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, gardens and environment. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn and to help others, and able to communicate with diverse groups of people. They form a network of highly qualified and concerned people who are capable of implementing a wide range of activities useful to the community.
What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, persons who become Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers, working through their local Extension office to provide horticulture-related information to their communities.
Is the Master Gardener Program for Me?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?
- Do I enjoy participating in practical training programs?
- Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community?
- Do I have enough time to attend training and to complete the volunteer service?
If you answered yes to these questions, the Master Gardener program could be for you.
In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer time to their county Extension program. The type of service done by Master Gardeners varies according to community needs, and the abilities and interests of the Master Gardeners.
Some Master Gardeners answer telephone requests for information related to gardening. Master Gardeners may speak to local groups and conduct workshops. They may help with community garden projects, work with youth, answer gardening questions at events or assist their Extension agent with news or radio releases related to gardening. The Master Gardener Coordinator in the County Extension office decides how volunteer time can be best utilized.
Master Gardeners are representatives of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. In all volunteer work related to the program, Master Gardeners follow the research-based recommendations of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Texas A&M Code of Conduct.
Qualifications for the Master Gardener Program include:
- Basic gardening interest and knowledge
- Enthusiasm for acquiring and sharing horticulture knowledge and skills
- Willingness, commitment and time to volunteer
Benefits of becoming a Master Gardener include:
- Satisfaction of serving your community to extend the educational mission of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
- Interaction with people in your community with similar interests and talents in gardening and landscaping
- Continued training opportunities in the art and science of gardening
If accepted into the Master Gardener program, you will attend a Master Gardener training course. Classes are taught by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists, staff, and local experts.
The program offers 50 hours of instruction. Topics may include:
- Botany & Plant Physiology
- Integrated Pest
- Plant Identification
- Plant Pathology
- Organic Gardening
- Turfgrass Maintenance & Diseases
- Earth Kind Roses
- Landscape and Design
- Rain Water Harvesting
- Water Conservation & Quality
- Urban Trees
- Water Wise Shrubs
- Fruits, Pecans and Berries
What Do Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) Do?
We assist the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service with a variety of tasks:
- Answer gardening inquiries over the phone and by email
- Give educational talks to various groups
- Introduce youth to gardening
- Support 4-H and Youth Development programs
- Present information at local events and trade shows
- Organize and present educational programs
- Volunteer at community based gardens (Food Bank, Wounded Warrior. San Antonio Botanical Garden)
- Conduct plant research
- Write articles about plants
- Increase awareness of integrated pest management, water conservation and quality, and other environmental issues
- Support other Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service programs
- Promote gardening via social media, i.e. BCMG FaceBook Page
To become a certified Master Gardeners, participants must:
- Complete the training course
- Pass an examination administered by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and
- Volunteer a minimum of 50 hours within one year of graduation
To retain the Texas Master Gardener title, individuals are required each year to:
- participate in a minimum of six (6) hours of recertification training [Continuing Education Units (CEUs)]; three (3) of the minimum six (6) hours must be earned by attending monthly BCMG meetings/seminars, and
- provide a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer service.
The 2017 Class is being held on Wednesday afternoons from February 22 through May 24, 2017.
Application and Schedule for the next Class will be posted here when available.
To obtain more information on the Master Gardener Program in Bexar County, contact us.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208
San Antonio, TX 78230-4818
Phone: (210) 631-0400[Map]