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County Offices

Southern Clark County 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.

All 4 Kids

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active, Fit program is an interdisciplinary approach to addressing child obesity. Developed by Cooperative Extension faculty from maternal/child nutrition, exercise physiology and child development, the All 4 Kids program helps children meet the Nevada Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Standards while encouraging preschool children and families to practice healthy eating habits and be active every day.

Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A Workforce Readiness Program

The Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A workforce readiness program for high school students focused on skill development for workplace and job success. Career Edge helps high school students prepare to get their first "paying" job while working toward their dream job or career. Career Edge provides information and training on interview skills, résumé development, filling out applications, finding job leads and selecting appropriate clothing for the workplace. In addition, many "soft skills" needed in the workplace such as decision-making, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership are integrated throughout the program.

Commercial Landscape Horticulture

Thistles prepared for the “Noxious Weeds and Weed Law” green industry class

Desert Green, Commercial Water Conservation Training

Desert Green is in its eleventh year and is designed to educate commercial clientele in the Green Industry as well as others who have an interest in water conservation issues. A committee representing the industry implements the training. Desert Green is chaired by one industry representative and one UNCE representative. The program is presented once a year, with 36 classes taught in a two-day period. A committee of industry representative reviews evaluations from the previous year to decide future educational direction and topics. During the evaluation process, the program is reviewed, modified and revised according to the needs of the clientele. As part of the marketing of this program, two articles citing the importance of Desert Green appear in regional trade publications.

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

Exploring Your True Colors: Building an Effective Team & Team Development Course

Team Development Course

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.

Food for Thoughts, School Garden

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Food for Thoughts Program offers children an alternative site for learning, promotes awareness of the desert environment, demonstrates the geographic sources of their food, and encourages healthy eating and activities.

Fun To Play

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Fun To Play program targets families where, due to the young age, inexperience or limited resources of the parents, young children are placed at-risk for developmental delays and later school difficulties. Fun To Play is a series of weekly infant/child sessions aimed at improving the parenting skills of young parents by increasing the amount of learning activities and interaction they provide their children.

Healing gardens in Las Vegas

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension healing gardens essentially become outdoor sanctuaries for people who are hospitalized as well as their families and the staff that works with them.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

The Healthy Eating on a Budget program has been integrated into the TANF Work Readiness workshop as a SNAP-Ed program. The purpose of the 8-lesson series is to provide SNAP recipients with education on healthy nutrition and physical activity practices, food resource management, food safety and food security.

Healthy Steps to Freedom

Spinach Chicken Pomegranate salad

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting and Responding to Child Maltreatment

young girl sitting at desk in empty classroom

Little Books and Little Cooks

Children scooping soil from a wheelbarrow into a carton

Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

Master Gardeners in Nevada

 A bumblebee pollinating a yellow flower

Nevada Naturalist

Women kneeling near animal tracks on a trail

Pick a better snack™ (formerly Chefs for Kids)

This evidence-based campaign focuses on building fruit and vegetable consumption in children through healthy snacking. Pick a better snack™ is a monthly, in-school nutrition education program for primary grade children in at-risk elementary schools in Clark and Washoe counties in Nevada. In addition to direct instruction, staff works with school wellness coordinators to build meaningful and sustainable programming to create a well environment in every school.

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

Programs Program Information
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
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