Master Gardener Educational Programs
Become a Master Gardener
In response to urban growth and the increasing interest in gardening, Washington State University Cooperative Extension offered the first Master Gardener Program in 1973. The concept of training volunteers was critical in these beginning stages to meet the high demand for gardening information. Dr. David Gibby was instrumental in developing a training curriculum for volunteers. As a result, Master Gardener Programs now operate throughout the United States and Canada.
Typically, extensive training promotes the use of Master Gardener volunteers in assisting with class preparation, research, public speaking, problem solving, answering gardening questions, facilitating group activities, preparing for garden tours, developing plant profiles, and writing articles. To promote gardening, volunteers partner with community programs, gardens, and educational organizations. The Master Gardeners Association of Alberta exists to support Master Gardeners in these endeavors, providing them with opportunities to learn, connect, and grow!
The MGAA itself does not offer basic courses nor training to become a Master Gardener. Current Master Gardener Educational Programs offered in Alberta are listed here for your convenience. If you need more information or want to find a program closer to your home city you may contact one of the organizations listed or do an online search.
Calgary Horticultural Society - Master Gardener Program
The program is perfect for gardeners interested in learning more about the art and science of gardening and who might be looking for future volunteer opportunities in the community.
The program is both theoretical and practical. It includes classroom and hands-on learning, tours provided by horticulturists, experienced practitioners and industry experts. A volunteer practicum will take the participants from the status of MIT (Master Gardener in Training) to a Master Gardener.
Please visit https://www.calhort.org/whats-happening/master-gardener/? for more information.
Dalhousie University - Alberta Master Gardener Training Program (Online)
The Master Gardener training program caters to Albertans who have a passion for gardening, wanting to expand their knowledge in the horticulture field, or wanting to become a Master Gardener! The training program consists of four independent-study classes available online. These courses are the Science of Gardening, Maintaining the Garden, Plant Identification and Use, and the Art of Gardening. Learners have the opportunity to take one course or all courses. The program has three intakes for students to begin their courses that include October 1, November 15 and February 1st each year. Registration deadlines are one week prior to the start date.
For further information and to register: https://registeratcontinuingeducation.dal.ca/public/category/courseCategoryCertificateProfile.do?method=load&certificateId=1861030&selectedProgramAreaId=17381&selectedProgramStreamId=17410
Stony Plain Multicultural Centre - Organic Master Gardener Program
The Organic Master Gardener program in Stony Plain is Alberta’s first and most extensive organic master gardener program. Under the umbrella of the Multicultural Heritage Centre, the program is geared to adult learners of all levels of gardening experience. From those absolutely brand new to the soil, to those who have years of experience in their own yards, or for those who want an addition to a résumé, the OMG program in Stony Plain is an excellent means to enjoyable learning. And this is a certificate program.
The program runs for 13 months, from September to the following October. Half of the 26 (3 hour) courses are from the Gaia College curriculum (www.gaiacollege.ca) and the other half are locally developed courses created for our north central Alberta soils and growing season. Students receive no tests or exams but are asked to compile a portfolio of work throughout the year.
The Multicultural Heritage Centre has been preserving and promoting the history of Stony Plain for over 40 years. We seek to engage local residents, businesses, governments, community organizations and visitors as we record, promote and celebrate the agricultural heritage, regional cultural roots and historic values of the Town of Stony Plain, the City of Spruce Grove and Parkland County. See www.multicentre.org.