skip to main content

County Offices

Carson City Programs

Master Gardeners in Nevada

 A bumblebee pollinating a yellow flower Master Gardeners help people learn successful Nevada gardening, such as ways to attract and protect pollinators. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet.

Program trains local gardeners to provide research-based horticulture information to Nevadans

Relevance/Issue

The results of Nevada’s Washoe County 2012 Horticulture Needs Assessment identified the following issues: home food production and edible landscaping, diagnosis and management of plant pests (insects, disease, weeds), local food production and urban agriculture, sustainable landscaping practices (including native plant landscaping), and landscape water conservation. In addition, the Mojave Desert’s unique conditions require special training. Both the Clark County and Washoe County Cooperative Extension offices receive thousands of phone calls and emails, as well as visits to the office, from people requesting assistance, which can easily overwhelm faculty and staff resources.

Response/What’s Been Done

Across Nevada, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners volunteered 44,913 hours in 2017. Some Master Gardener volunteer activities are consistent throughout the state, including teaching classes, offering garden tours, staffing information booths at community events, and answering questions in person at Extension offices and through email and telephone. In addition, Master Gardeners in each county performed activities and events specific to the county. Master Gardeners also presented for the Southern Utah Green conference.

Results/Impact and Partners

According to eXtension in 2009, Master Gardeners average helping five community members for each hour of volunteer time. Using this formula, Master Gardeners in Washoe County have helped 352,550 community members since 2010. Also since 2010, Clark County Master Gardeners have had 289,609 face-to-face interactions with community members and volunteered 277,803 hours.

In 2017, in Washoe County, 32 students completed the coursework required to become Master Gardeners. As of July 2018, over half have completed the volunteer time required to become certified Master Gardeners. The 32 students rated their confidence on topics from 1 (low) to 5 (high) before and after the program, reporting the following average confidence increases:

  • 96 percent for native plants in the landscape
  • 51 percent for potting media and container gardening
  • 42 percent for water efficiency in the landscape
  • 46 percent for plant problem diagnosis

In Clark County, a Master Gardener earned second place at the 2017 International Master Gardener Conference in Oregon for her work with milkweeds to promote pollinators in southern Nevada. 35 Master Gardeners were certified and asked to rate their knowledge on topics from 1 (little) to 5 (a lot) before and after the program, reporting the following average knowledge increases:

  • 2.8 in fertilizers
  • 1.8 in edible landscapes
  • 1.2 in how to teach adults
  • 2.1 in plant diseases
  • 2.0 in weeds
  • 2.2 in botany
  • 2.2 in soil amendments
  • 1.4 in soils
  • 1.8 in vegetables
  • 1.8 in gardening smarter

Partners included Washoe County; Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space; Carson City Parks and Recreation; Clark County; Nevada Department of Agriculture; Nevada Department of Wildlife; College of Southern Nevada; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Schilling Horticulture Group; National Audubon Society; Great Basin Water Company; Nevada Hemp Association; Town of Gardnerville; Douglas County Parks; local nurseries; home stores; irrigation companies; businesses and organizations.

IMPACTS




352,550

community members helped since 2010



277,803

hours volunteered in Clark County since 2010



“I know the whole Cooperative Extension program funding has been decimated over the last 15 years. Kudos to all involved keeping the Cooperative Extension and especially the Master Gardeners Program going through creativeness and tenacity. While my interests lie outside the horticulture arena, I fully appreciate the great people I’ve met along the way and their willingness to pass on their special knowledge which has helped make my little piece of Southern Nevada a really special place to live.”

— Brian Woodward, Las Vegas, in an email


Contacts:
Southern Area: Clark County, Las Vegas
Angela O`Callaghan, Social Horticulture Specialist, 702-222-3130
Lori Leas, Community Based Instructor, 702-257-5501

Northern Area: Washoe, Storey, Pershing, Humboldt, Lander, Elko, Douglas and Carson
Heidi Kratsch, State Horticulture Specialist, 775-784-4848
Wendy Hanson Mazet, Master Gardener Coordinator, 775-784-4848

Central Area:
Lyon County: Marcia Moffitt, 775- 463-6541
Mineral County: Kellie Zuniga, 775-945-3444
No. Nye County: Debby Woodland, 775-727-5532

Programs Program Information

4-H Youth Development

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

Carson City Community Garden

The Community Garden began in 2001 and allows community members who don’t have room for a vegetable garden to rent a 4-by-16-foot garden bed for $20 a season at a 25-bed garden complex on Beverly Drive east of the cemetery. The price includes water, soil preparation, some seeds and fertilizer.

Family Storyteller Literacy Program

National award-winning Family Storyteller is a literacy program aimed at encouraging and training parents to play a vital role in the literacy development of their children. Developed by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), KNPB-TV, the Washoe County libraries and Washoe County School District, the statewide program creates an opportunity for parents and young children to interact around literacy and language activities. Family Storyteller is designed especially for families that may have limited language skills and few children’s books at home.

Grow Your Own, Nevada

 A tray of vegetables

Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

Master Gardeners in Nevada

 A bumblebee pollinating a yellow flower

Nevada Radon Education Program

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a partnership with the Nevada State Health Division to educate Nevadans about the possible health risk posed by elevated levels of radon in the home. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) offers literature, educational programs and radon test kits in many county Extension offices.

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month

Living With Fire logo

Social Media Training

Extension Educator Lindsay Chichester explaining Facebook Page Best Practices to a room of people

The Greenhouse Project

The Carson City Greenhouse Project was conceptualized in November 2008 in partnership between UNCE; the Carson City Cultural Commission; The Greenhouse Project Committee, a grassroots, community organization; the Carson City School District; Nevada State Parks; and numerous volunteers. The Greenhouse Project serves as a teaching facility for hands on programs at the Carson City High School. Students help to cultivate and distribute vegetables and herbs for culinary classes and community food banks. Additional flower baskets are grown to beautify downtown Carson City.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Herds and Harvest
Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Risk Management
Stronger Economies Together
Weed Prevention and Management
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals