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Master Gardeners enhance Colorado communities through outreach, education and environmental stewardship.

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The Power of Community

The Principles of Community support the Colorado State University mission and vision of access, research, teaching, service and engagement. This is not an optional component of our program, it is central to who we are as Master Gardeners and is the basis for all we do in Extension. 

A collaborative and vibrant community is a foundation for learning, critical inquiry, and discovery. Therefore, each member of the CSU community has a responsibility to uphold these principles when engaging with one another and acting on behalf of the University.


Inclusion: We create and nurture inclusive environments and welcome, value and affirm all members of our community, including their various identities, skills, ideas, talents and contributions.

Integrity: We are accountable for our actions and will act ethically and honestly in all our interactions.

Respect: We honor the inherent dignity of all people within an environment where we are committed to freedom of expression, critical discourse, and the advancement of knowledge.

Service: We are responsible, individually and collectively, to give of our time, talents, and resources to promote the well-being of each other and the development of our local, regional, and global communities.

Social Justice: We have the right to be treated and the responsibility to treat others with fairness and equity, the duty to challenge prejudice, and to uphold the laws, policies and procedures that promote justice in all respects.


Understanding & Appreciating Differences

In your role as a CSU volunteer Master Gardener, you interact with many different people. In your community you may work at local schools, community gardens, libraries and other public spaces. Within your CSU Extension office, you work with staff, county-based faculty, and fellow volunteers. Each person will have a different history and story than your own. 

We encourage you to explore your community as a Colorado Master Gardener with an open mind and heart to appreciating differences. This information is not about shaming or blaming but rather about understanding the systems that create our social experience and environment. 

Why is this important as a volunteer Master Gardener? We are striving to serve ALL Coloradoans with our empowering horticultural outreach. It’s important to understand that the projects we support and way we outreach are all impacted by our unconscious and conscious interactions with others. 

Unconscious bias (or implicit bias) are unintentional prejudice in favor of or against one thing/person/group that often creates an unfair situation.  These biases can be positive or negative and are not limited to ethnicity, race and gender.   A person’s age,  gender identity, physical abilities, religion, sexual orientation, weight, and many other characteristics are subject to bias.

As humans, we are hard-wired to categorize and “lump” observations about our surroundings. However, these unconscious judgements can affect our attitudes and behaviors towards others.

Below are three links to videos about understanding our biases. We strongly encourage all volunteers to watch at least one:

Source: used in agreement with TED Talks Usage Policy. 

We recognize that these TED Talks just scratch the surface of bias and understanding cultural differences. It’s meant to start the conversation and encourage a different way of thinking about our stories and the stories of others. Please know we realize it does not encompass all under-represented and under-served populations. 

Serving Your Community

We are fortunate that Colorado’s an increasingly diverse state and we’re poised as Master Gardeners to serve across the state through local initiatives. Below are just a few examples of unique and intentional outreach within our program:

Our Programs are Available to All

Colorado State University Extension is an equal opportunity provider. | Colorado State University Extension es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

Colorado State University does not discriminate on the basis of disability and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations. | Colorado State University no discrimina por motivos de discapacidad y se compromete a proporcionar adaptaciones razonables.

CSU’s Office of Engagement and Extension ensures meaningful access and equal opportunities to participate to individuals whose first language is not English. | Office of Engagement and Extension de CSU garantiza acceso significativo e igualdad de oportunidades para participar a las personas quienes su primer idioma no es el inglés.

CSU is an equal access and equal opportunity University. Learn more:

Reading Recommendations


  • Matters of discrimination and harassment based on protected groups must be addressed by the Office of Equal Opportunity. If your concern is about unlawful discrimination or harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at or 970-491-5836