Becoming a Benton-Franklin
We are currently accepting applications for the 2013 Master Gardener Program. Applications are due by January 24, 2013 and the training will begin with Orientation on January 29th. You may print our application out below and then mail or drop it off at the WSU Extension Office (in the Benton County Annex) at 5600-E West Canal Drive in Kennewick. If you have any questions about the application process call 735-3551.
The Master Gardener Program is sponsored by Washington State University Extension. Volunteers are trained to solve gardening problems and provide WSU approved research-based advice to the public. Our volunteers staff regularly scheduled plant problem diagnostic clinics in several locations during the gardening season, helping people learn to manage their landscapes and gardens more more effectively with environmentally sound gardening practices.
In Benton and Franklin Counties training is held annually during the winter and early spring starting in mid-January. Classes are four hours in length and are usually on Tuesday afternoons. Forty to fifty new volunteers typically apply to participate in the program each year.
The Master Gardener core curriculum includes modules in:
- basic botany and horticulture
- soil and garden management
- principles of pest management
- landscape plant management
- integrated pest management & pesticide safety
- herbaceous plants
- plant pathology
- principles of weed management
- tree fruit and small fruit production
- vegetable garden production
- home lawn management
- sustainable gardening practices
- insect identification and plant problem diagnosis
New volunteers who take the Master Gardener training must commit to 50 hours of return volunteer service to the program and pay $70 directly to WSU for the digital version of the Master Gardener Manual and the on-line portion of the course. New volunteers will also pay a local training fee to cover the cost of the local weekly trainng sessions.
After completing the training and scoring satisfactorily on the chapter quizzes and final exam, Master Gardener trainees are scheduled to staff plant problem diagnostic clinics and also return service to the program by working in one or more of the other Master Gardener programs, such as the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden or helping with other educational programs.
Trainees earn the title "Certified Master Gardener" by completing and reporting their 50 hours of volunteer service to the program and successfully completing their weekly quizzes and final exam. Master Gardeners are encouraged to remain in the program after their first year to continue their education and participate in the many enjoyable educational program activities.
Master Gardeners Help You Grow