About Master Gardener Program

Since 2002, the University of the District of Columbia has offered the DC Master Gardener Program. Active in all 50 states and Canada, the program was established to assist Cooperative Extension in reaching the consumer horticulture public. The program’s mission is to train and educate participants on effective and sustainable horticultural practices, landscape problem solving, and vegetable and ornamental growing on a small and large scale.

The DC Master Gardener Program is open to DC residents only. No prior gardening experience is needed to participate in this program.

Calling all DC Master Gardeners for a great 2021!


As we rebuild the Master Gardener Program, UDC intends to make this process as collaborative and inclusive as possible. We would like (Master Gardeners) MGs ideas and perspectives to be guiding forces as we think through every part of the program, from the basic training to volunteer opportunities, from organizational structure to group dynamics. Our intention is to structure the program according to community needs and interests across all 8 Wards. Please take a moment to share your views by completing this survey.

Listening Sessions

If surveys aren’t your thing, you can also talk to us directly by registering for our small group listening session in February, where we will be brainstorming the future of the program.

Volunteer Opportunities

For veteran MGs who are eager to get back to volunteering, please check your inboxes for updates from Patricia Bon, our new MG coordinator. If you haven’t received any emails from her, please reach out to make sure you are on her mailing list. 

Next Session

The next session of basic training is scheduled for the fall. To apply for the program or for any other information, please email patricia.bon@udc.edu.


*** The next session of basic training is scheduled for the fall of 2021, dates TBD. For more information, please contact patricia.bon@udc.edu.

Basic training courses are typically offered twice a year, usually in spring and fall. Total learning time is a minimum of 40 hours. Classes are held virtually from 6-9 pm weekly.

Through the training program, participants are taught many different horticultural subjects by specialists, educators, and other professionals. Topics typically include botany, composting, diagnosing plant problems, ecology, entomology, integrated pest management, lawn care, soils and fertilizers, trees and shrubs, and vegetable gardening.

A combination of online sessions, hands-on activities, field trips, and experiential learning methods are used during the training sessions.

Upon completion of all coursework and 40 hours as a volunteer intern, each student is issued a Master Gardener Certificate. The 40-hour requirement is designed to provide each student with an opportunity to learn from professional gardeners while volunteering. Listed below are some typical activities:

  • Environmental Gardening Demonstrations
  • Youth Gardening
  • Community Beautification
  • Technical support for the School Gardens Program
  • Community Garden Advisors
  • Teaching workshops at UDC Food Hubs


The requirements for certification as a Master Gardener of the District of Columbia are:

  • 75% attendance of class sessions.
  • Satisfactory completion of all activities and assigned projects.
  • Passing of the open book, final exam.
  • Fulfillment of the 40-hour volunteer requirement.


Patricia Bon
Project Associate for Gardening Education
202 941 7923