Extension Master Gardeners at work.
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Our Vision, Mission, and Values


Cultivating Expertise: Inside the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program – Episode 002

Jennifer Marquis, Statewide Program Leader of the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program, talks about how the program started, how Extension Master Gardeners serve their communities, and how much Extension Master Gardeners love their “job” on this episode of the new podcast, The Evergreen Thumb.

Sponsored by the Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State and WSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers.

The Master Gardener Program is a Washington State University Extension Program within the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CANHRS). Founded in 1973 by WSU Extension agents from King and Pierce Counties, the Master Gardener concept has been replicated across the United States and Internationally. Today, there are 85,000 certified Extension Master Gardeners.

From the outset our mission has been to engage university-trained volunteers to empower and sustain diverse communities with relevant, unbiased, research-based horticulture and environmental stewardship education. We teach best practices for creating sustainable landscapes that enhance and protect our natural resources and improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Each year we train new volunteers, equipping them with foundational knowledge to become horticultural educators in their communities. Trained volunteers must continue their educational development in subsequent years to stay abreast of current research and our ever-changing environment.

The needs of our communities have evolved over the years and Master Gardeners have evolved to meet the challenges of today. Our priorities include growing food for local food banks, improving soil health and conserving water in your landscape, dealing with climate change and many others.

Volunteers engage with communities through a variety of programs. Have a gardening question? Ask it at one of our hundreds of free Answer-Clinics located throughout the state. Do you want to see sustainable gardening in action? Stop by for a tour or attend a workshop at one of our many Demonstration Gardens which demonstrate research-based gardening techniques and inspire young people to love gardening. Do you need a speaker for your organization? Our Speakers’ Bureau volunteers teach topics important to your organizations. These programs and more are designed to further horticulture and environmental stewardship education in your community.

A group of people examining tree leaves.
Master Gardeners inspecting greenhouse plants

Our Vision

Highly recognized, diverse, and fully supported, WSU Master Gardener volunteers are the go-to resource for communities seeking research-based, innovative solutions for their ever-changing horticulture and environmental stewardship needs.
Feeding a compost bin

Our Mission

Engaging university-trained volunteers to empower and sustain diverse communities with relevant, unbiased, research-based horticulture and environmental stewardship education.
Extension Master Gardener taking inventory

Our Values

We value personal and professional research and discovery because it encourages us to stay current about horticulture and environmental stewardship to meet the unique educational needs of our communities.

We foster and benefit from an atmosphere of diversity and inclusivity because our differences inspire creative thinking and innovative solutions.

We act with integrity because trust, truthfulness and respect create a healthy and positive culture.

We are committed to stewardship and sustainability, serving as ethical and responsible agents of our natural resources, human resources, and University resources.

We collaborate because together we empower healthy and resilient communities.

We are a dynamic and responsive program where knowledge inspires change.