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Deadline Extended for Master Gardener Program Applications

Grafting Garden Master Class

Do you love gardening? Are you interested in expanding your knowledge and sharing that knowledge with others? Applications for the 2018 Master Gardener Program through UConn Extension are now due by Friday, November 17. Master Gardener interns receive horticultural training from UConn, and then share knowledge with the public through community volunteering and educational outreach efforts.

The 2018 class will introduce a hybrid course format. There will be 3-4 hours of online work before each of the weekly classes, and then a half-day course from 9 AM to 1 PM that runs for 16 weeks.

“Gardening and the study of it is something we can do our whole lives,” says Karen Linder, a 2015 graduate of the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford. “There is always something new to learn – we can get deeper into a subject. Our instructors truly brought subjects to life that I thought could not be made exciting. Who knew soil had so much going on? It has truly changed the way I think and observe the world around me. That is pretty amazing!”

The program is broad-based, intensive, and consists of 16 class sessions (online course work and a half-day class each week) beginning the week of January 8, 2018. The Master Gardener program includes over 100 hours of training and 60 hours of volunteer service. Individuals successfully completing the program will receive UConn Extension Master Gardener certification. The program fee is $425.00, and includes all needed course materials. Partial scholarships may be available, based on demonstrated financial need.

“I would recommend the UConn Master Gardener program to anyone with a serious desire to learn more about horticulture,” says Holly Maynard, who is graduating with the 2017 class in Hartford County. “There are some spectacularly engaging guest lecturers; this is not some amateur gardening club.”

Classes will be held in Torrington, Vernon, New Haven, Norwich, and Stamford. The postmark deadline for applications has been extended to Friday, November 17, 2017.

For more information or an application, call UConn Extension at 860-570-9023, download the application, or visit the UConn Extension Master Gardener website at:


We are excited to introduce the new, online Garden Master Class catalog and registration!

It has taken a while, but we are pleased to present the Fall 2017 Garden Master Class catalog in a new, online format. You can now register and pay for classes and get immediate confirmation of your registration, along with email reminders as the class dates approach.

The catalog is now available at . The process is similar to any online purchasing you already do. The GoSignMeUp platform that powers the online catalog is used by many companies and schools and has an excellent reputation. A link to the site is posted on our Extension website, and our volunteer website

You can now pay by credit or debit card, and we encourage you to use this payment method. It provides an immediate confirmation of your class registration. You can still pay by check, but until that payment is processed, you will not have a guaranteed seat in the class.

The new program will provide email reminders both one week and one day prior to your class.

If you have taken Master Classes before, all your attendance information has been saved and will be entered into the GoSignMeUp program. Once the transition is complete, you will be able to check your transcript online at any time to confirm what classes you have taken. This feature should be available in the early part of 2018.

Your registration information from the old system has also been transferred to GoSignMeUp. When you log into the new system, take a moment to check your account information. If corrections are needed, let us know!

The system also allows us to add classes throughout the term, so check back often. We try to have all classes listed in the beginning of the term, but new opportunities do arise throughout!

Instructions on registering and using the system are attached, and there are instructions on the home page of the catalog. Additionally, if you have any difficulties you can contact us at Your county coordinator can also help you. Contact information is available at

This new program has been in the works for several years. Middlesex County coordinator Gail Reynolds got us started, conducting a comprehensive search and analysis of the available options, leading to the recommendation of GoSignMeUp. Longtime Master Class volunteer Rebecca Martorelli teamed up with Extension program assistant Amber Guillemette and Tolland County coordinator Jean Madden-Hennessey to make the transition from our old system to the new one. Many thanks to all!

A Positive Approach to Service

volunteersOur UConn Extension Master Gardener volunteers are located in each of the eight county Extension centers, and at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford. Master Gardener volunteers donate their time each year to answer horticultural-related questions for the community.

In May, Gail Reynolds, our Master Gardener Coordinator at the office in Haddam received this letter from Carol of Chester, Connecticut:

Dear Ms. Reynolds, 

I am writing to make you aware of the exceptional service I received at the Extension program on May 26, 2017 when I brought an insect sample to your office. Your volunteer employees, Kenneth Sherrick, Susan Goodall, and Liz Duffy could not have been more motivated and interested in identifying the specimen and providing me with appropriate information. These employees exhibited a level of energy and competency that I have honestly never encountered in either a public service or private setting. Together they critically analyzed the resource materials, collaborated effectively to identify the specimen, and patiently explained their findings. They were sincere, welcoming, and friendly. My issue was positively resolved in a short time.

Certainly, we are all used to accessing public and private services – libraries, post offices, school systems, doctor’s offices – and we are accustomed to a particular, acceptable standard of service. But when one encounters a greater level of service, a higher degree of motivation, and a overwhelmingly positive approach to service it is remarkable indeed. These three volunteers operate in excellence, and they exceeded my expectations in every regard. You are quite fortunate to have them!



Let’s Hear it for our Master Gardener Volunteers!

Active, Certified Master Gardener Volunteers honored by pins for volunteer hour contributions!

Active, Certified Master Gardener Volunteers honored by pins for volunteer hour contributions!

Our Master Gardener volunteers contribute innumerable hours to their communities by participating on projects, speaking to the public, writing articles, teaching classes, and much more!

We honor our Active Certified Master Gardeners with garden-themed pins as they reach volunteer hour milestones, cumulative over their time as Active Certified Master Gardeners.

One hundred (100) volunteer hours is marked by a trowel pin, 250 hours by an oak leaf pin, 500 hours by a wheelbarrow pin, 750 hours by a pinecone pin, 1000 hours by a sunflower pin, 1500 hours by a pruner pin, and 2000 hours by a gardener’s boot!