Colorado Master Gardener Mission & Vision
The Colorado State University Colorado Master Gardener Program volunteer network strives to enhance Coloradans’ quality of life by:
- Extending knowledge-based education throughout Colorado communities to foster successful gardeners;
- Helping individuals make informed decisions about plants to protect neighborhood environments.
We are committed to using horticulture to empower gardeners, develop partnerships and build stronger communities.
Our VisionCMG Vision Statement
The Colorado State University, Colorado Master Gardener Program strives to lead educational efforts to nurture Colorado’s natural environment and communities by:
- Collaborating with the green industry, public agencies and nonprofits to provide current research-based information to the public;
- Developing educational programs for local needs such as water issues, alternative pest management and ecosystem characteristics, to encourage environmentally sound horticultural practices;
- Reaching out to new audiences through a variety of technologies;
- Providing lifelong learning opportunities and a variety of meaningful volunteer options for Colorado Master Gardeners, resulting in a committed, active network of horticultural educators who serve communities across the state;
- Cultivating long-term support and securing abundant resources from diverse constituencies for the Colorado Master Gardener Program by showing the differences that this program makes in Coloradans’ quality of life.
History of the Colorado Master Gardener program
The Master Gardener program began in 1973, when it was founded in the state of Washington. With its success, it quickly spread to other states. In Colorado, the program began in 1975 in Denver, Boulder, Jefferson and El Paso counties. Today, there are programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, nine Canadian provinces and South Korea.
Volunteers in the Colorado program support gardeners from the plains to the highest elevations of the state. They support Colorado State University Extension staff through their participation in educational activities that expand the reach of local horticultural experts. Their journey begins with a rigorous 10 weeks of training on topics including everything from soils to plant diseases and insects. Volunteers then give back to communities through various activities.
Volunteers might teach public classes, respond to public phone calls and emails, staff booths at farmers’ markets and other events, teach youth and community gardening, maintain public research and demonstration gardens, write blogs and develop videos. In 2018, 1364 volunteers across 35 counties donated 54,111 hours, worth about 1.5 million dollars in community contributions.