Who are Master Gardeners?

Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, and gardens. More importantly they volunteer to share that information with you, in conjunction with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, people who become Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers, working through their AgriLife Extension office to provide horticultural-related information to their communities. Master Gardeners do not know all the answers, but do know how to find the answers!

Is the Master Gardener Program for You?

To help you decide if you should apply to be a Master Gardener, ask yourself these questions:

* Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?

* Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?

* Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community?

* Do I have enough time to attend training and to complete the volunteer service?

If you answered Yes to these questions, the Master Gardener program could be for you!

Master Gardener Certification

Certification as a Master Gardener involves:

* Minimum of 60 hours of instruction by local horticultural experts and state Extension specialists

* Minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service within the first year of completing your formal instruction. Of these 50 hours, a minimum of 25 hours must be onsite at the Coastal Oaks Gardens, including 8 hours at the Extension Office Answer Desk.

* Pass an exam (open book) administered by Extension.

To retain your certification, each subsequent year you will volunteer a minimum of 20 hours on projects designed to increase availability of horticultural and natural resource information in the community, and take 10 hours of Continuing Education. Annual dues are $15, payable by Dec. 15 for the following year.

Training Class Information

The Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardener Training Class generally runs from the first week in August until late November or the first week in December each year. The class usually meets on Tuesdays from 1:30 -5:00 PM at the AgriLife Extension Service Office, 892 Airport Road, Rockport TX.

Each year, an Information Session is held in mid or late July.  At this session, you will learn about the Master Gardener organization and its activities including the upcoming Master Gardener Class. You may then register for the class if you are interested.  Tuition is $175 ($50 refunded upon certification).

Contact the AgriLife Extension Service, Aransas County Office at 361-790-0103, by email at aransas-tx@tamu.edu, or in person at 892 Airport Road, Rockport, TX for more details.

Meet the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners

Visit Coastal Oaks Gardens, home of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Road, Rockport, TX. COG is a public demonstration garden designed, planted and maintained by Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardener volunteers that showcases plant materials and landscape schemes suitable for the Coastal bend.

You will find Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners at Coastal Oaks Gardens and at local Master Gardener horticulture educational events sponsored throughout the year such as Brown Bags, Seminars, Classes, Plant Sales and the annual Hidden Gardens Tour.