DC Master Gardeners, revitalized in 2002, is a volunteer program affiliated with land-grant universities. Volunteers utilize research-based information to educate the public on best
practices in horticulture and environmental stewardship. Active in all 50 states and Canada, the program was established to assist Cooperative Extension in reaching the consumer horticulture public. The program provides interested individuals with extensive training in topics such as plant pathology, entomology, urban soils, and plant propagation and pruning. In return, participants are required to dedicate volunteer time to demonstrate horticultural practices; answer questions, provide information, and speak at public events; and participate in community gardening programs.
"Washington, D.C. and Baltimore City are the only two urban Master Gardener Programs in a metropolitan city on the east coast of the U.S.," Ms. Bandier points out. "This makes the UDC
program unique in serving the residents of the District. DC Master Gardeners provide unbiased, research-based educational assistance and programs in horticulture and environmental issues to the gardening public."
More than 400 DC residents have been trained in the Master Gardener program since the
program was revitalized in 2002. Nationally, Master Gardeners volunteered more than 5 million hours in 2009. In 2010, 187 active Master Gardeners gave a total of 9,350 hours valued at $306,119. Currently, there are a total of 226 active Master Gardeners in the District of Columbia.
Sandra Farber Bandier
Coordinator, Master Gardener & Junior Master Gardener Programs