The UC Master Gardener Program conducts statewide public service and outreach under UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. In 2021, the program had 6,100 volunteers in over 50 counties sharing research-based information to help the public grow home, community, and school gardens more sustainably. Collectively, its volunteers contributed 415,200 hours of public service valued at $14 million.
UC Master Gardener partners with venues such as schools, libraries and community centers, to provide sustainable gardening education to the public. In 2021, participants applied what they learned to over 1.5 million square feet of pollinator habitat. These practices improve yields from home food gardens and support local agricultural productivity. Additionally, participants reported removing over 145,000 square feet of turf, which reduces landscape water use.
Across the state, UC Master Gardener programs establish unique local partnerships to help communities adapt to climate change. For example, the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County joined forces with the Sonoma Ecology Center and Habitat Corridor Project to develop the Resilient Landscapes Coalition, representing multiple disciplines of natural ecology, landscape design and research-based outreach. This coalition teamed up with local fire agencies to create educational content on resilient landscaping for Sonoma County residents, integrating sustainable landscape practices with firewise landscaping recommendations. The information represents a combination of state and county laws, best practices from firefighting personnel and scientific research.