Wildflower meadow.
Making a difference
Impacting plant biodiversity in our communities
Support the Master Gardener Program

Throughout this site there are links to documents of various file types.
Please contact our Statewide Program Leader if you require this information in a different format.

Solving problems in our communities

Engaging university-trained volunteers to empower and sustain diverse communities with relevant, unbiased, research-based horticulture and environmental stewardship education. Read about WSU Master Gardeners in the news.



A total of 6,500 individuals participated in educational sessions to gain insights into making impactful changes within their homes, landscapes, and gardens. These sessions aimed to empower attendees to contribute to safeguarding ecosystem functioning within their communities.


Earth’s biodiversity, the diversity of life across all levels, is on the decline. Animal and plant species are facing extinction at a rate far surpassing the natural pace. Biological diversity acts as a safeguard against declines in ecosystem functioning. Recognizing and comprehending local environmental issues serves as a catalyst for taking action to preserve native and vulnerable plant and animal species. Practices like reducing lawns, managing invasive plants, and promoting the use of native plants contribute to supporting biological diversity, extending from individual backyards to broader bioregions and beyond.


The Master Gardener Volunteer Program actively promotes the stewardship of diverse ecosystems by engaging in invasive species management, conservation of native species, and landscape restoration, ultimately contributing to the establishment of healthy, thriving, and diverse ecosystems.
Following are some key achievements and activities:

  • Educational Outreach: Reached a total of 5,360 adults and 1,120 youth to raise awareness about the significance of biodiversity.
  • Expert Guidance: Extension Master Gardeners provided answers to 2,637 questions related to biodiversity.
  • Classes: Conducted 114 classes for adults and 25 classes for youth, focusing on biodiversity and emphasizing the importance of invasive species management.
  • Demonstrations: Organized 5 demonstrations for adults and 4 for youth, offering attendees a visual understanding of what biodiversity entails.
  • Workshops: Held 5 workshops for adults and 10 for youth, providing practical knowledge and tools to support biodiversity efforts.
  • Field Days: Organized 33 field days for adults and 8 for youth, creating immersive experiences to further connect participants with biodiversity initiatives.
Clark County master gardeners at work.

WSU Extension Clark County Master Gardener Program project at the Lacamas Prairie Natural Area

Lacamas Prairie Natural Area.
Newly planted in spring.
Lacamas Prairie Natural Area in spring.
Full bloom and full-grown plants in the summer!
Lacamas Prairie Natural Area in summer.
Plant biodiversity has returned to the area.
Native plants propagated by Master Gardeners.
WSU Clark County Master Gardeners propagated native plants for the project.

Other WSU Extension Master Gardener Program projects around the state

New path installed in garden.
In Yakima County, WSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers oversee a seed-lending library boasting a collection of over 200 heirloom vegetable varieties. This diverse assortment ranges from common to rare and even includes endangered varieties, providing a valuable resource for the community.
Completed lawn replacement with water wise plants.
The Yakima County Extension Master Gardeners actively tend to an heirloom garden, where seeds are thoughtfully saved and subsequently contributed to the seed-lending library, enriching the community’s access to a diverse array of plant varieties.
Picture of a dry lawn.
Demonstration gardens, meticulously constructed and cared for by WSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers, serve as dynamic outdoor classrooms. These gardens are purposefully designed to educate the public about plant biodiversity and impart research-based gardening practices.
Water wise demo garden in Spokane.
Camano Island Extension Master Gardener trainees undergo instruction in the fundamental concept of “right plant, right place.” This principle emphasizes the importance of selecting and siting plants based on their specific environmental needs to promote optimal growth and overall well-being.

Doing our part

The Lacamas Prairie Natural Area, situated in East Clark County, stands as Washington’s most resilient remnant of the diminishing ecosystem known as Willamette Valley wet prairie. This ecosystem, which once spanned over 1 million acres along the Willamette and Columbia rivers, now finds a critical refuge in this area. Lacamas Prairie is particularly notable for hosting the largest population of Bradshaw’s lomatium, an endangered perennial herb, along with five other rare plant species.

In collaboration with Carlo Abbruzzese from the Washington Department of Natural Resources, WSU Extension Clark County Master Gardeners play a pivotal role in the ongoing restoration efforts for this 211-acre site. Volunteer efforts include seeding numerous trays with various prairie plant species, such as Bradshaw’s lomatium, tufted hairgrass, dense sedge, two species of buttercup, Camas lily, and Idaho blue-eyed grass. The objective is to bolster the populations of these species. Volunteers diligently monitor germination rates, provide summer watering, and plant out the young plants in both spring and fall. Additionally, summer visits involve weeding, while fall activities focus on seed collecting.

During one visit to the prairie, volunteers were rewarded with the sighting of a slender-billed white-breasted nuthatch, a bird that is becoming increasingly rare in the region. This underscores the significance of the restoration work in preserving not only plant species but also the broader ecosystem and its diverse inhabitants.

Of the contribution of WSU Master Gardeners, Mr. Abbruzzese, states, “In terms of the biodiversity impact, the master gardeners have been really helpful over the years in helping collect native seed, propagate several native species of plants and plant them in the prairie.  This addition of hundreds of native plants has really helped restore an area that was largely dominated by invasive grasses and other invasive plants.  By propagating and planting these native plants, they have greatly helped improve the floral biodiversity at the site which will help improve the biodiversity of animals, like pollinating invertebrates, small mammals, and other herbivores.”