UConn Extension Master Gardener Program
The Bartlett Arboretum is the southern Fairfield County home of the University of Connecticut's Extension Master Gardener Program.
What do Master Gardeners do?
Master Gardeners are involved in their communities, offering sound horticultural advice in a variety of ways. They serve in the UConn Extension Master Gardener Plant Clinic at The Bartlett Arboretum and answer questions posed by the public regarding plant identification, horticultural best practices, and diagnosis of disease or pest problems. Many Master Gardeners run community gardens, teach classes, or lead outreach projects throughout the county. At the Bartlett Arboretum, The Woodland Treasures Group, the Herb Garden Team, the Perennial Border and Cottage Garden Caretakers are active in the mission of Master Gardeners to teach by action and example.
Who operates the program?
The Connecticut Master Gardener program is conducted by the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut. The program coordinator at the Arboretum is Pat Carroll. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-883-4046 for more information.
Want to meet a Master Gardener?
Chances are you will run into one or more Master Gardeners working at the Bartlett Arboretum weekdays during the growing season. Teams of Master Gardeners take care of the Bartlett Vegetable Garden, the Herb Garden, the Cottage Garden and the Perennial Border. If you have noticed a reduction in the quantity of invasive plants on the property, you can give credit for that to Master Gardener volunteers. Other Master Gardeners work at Cove Island Wildlife Preserve, Scalzi Park, and assorted Farmers' Markets and at many local schools.
What does it take to become a Master Gardener?
To become a certified UConn Extension Master Gardener, you must first have an interest in plants and gardening! Then, you must apply for the program, attend and perform classroom work, and provide volunteer service. Classes are taught by horticulturists and University of Connecticut Extension educators and specialists. Following the formal classroom instruction, Master Gardener interns receive hands-on training in the UConn Extension offices or the Bartlett Arboretum; they are supervised in researching a broad range of horticultural concerns, including identifying insects and plants, diagnosing plant diseases, and providing sound science-based cultural recommendations.
The Master Gardener program offers 96 hours of classroom work and 60 hours of volunteer service under the supervision of Master Gardener mentors. Examples of volunteer work include community gardens, horticultural therapy, educational booths for programs ranging from Earth Day celebrations to county fairs, and working with the CT Invasive Plant Working Group, just to name a few.
Students enrolled in this program receive training in an extensive range of horticultural and environmental topics, including botany, plant pathology, entomology, integrated pest management (IPM), herbaceous and woody ornamentals, edibles, turf grass, invasive plants, and diagnostic techniques for the home gardener.
If you are interested, please apply for the University of Connecticut Master Gardener program! Applications to the 2020 program are now available and the deadline for submission is Friday, October 18, 2019. Classes begin the week of January 6, 2020. Applications are available at the Bartlett or you can click here to apply directly online. For more details and application information, please visit mastergardener.uconn.edu