The Master Gardening Program in Shasta and Tehama Counties was started by Leimone Waite, Warren Lytle and Joyce Hinkle as the Shasta College Master Gardeners in 2003. Two years later in 2005, (after the program was a demonstrable success) it was accepted into the UC Master Gardener program, based on the understanding that it would be a joint program with Shasta College, and that Mrs. Waite would serve as the Horticultural Advisor. This remains the program’s status today.
The mission of the Master Gardeners of Shasta County is to develop, adapt, and extend research-based horticultural information and educational programs to the residents of Shasta and Tehama Counties. The Master Gardeners assist the University of California Cooperative Extension through gardening programs and horticultural activities designed to educate the public with research-based information.
The Master Gardeners of Shasta County is a joint program of Shasta College and UCCE. Shasta College provides the training and organizes projects, while UCCE provides consistency with this statewide program and administrative support. There are currently about 50 active Master Gardeners and 25 new recruits who completed their training in November 2015.
In 2015, the Master Gardeners of Shasta County contributed over 2500 hours of volunteer community service. Master Gardeners write a weekly column for the local newspaper. They also staff a telephone helpline and a weekly booth at the Farmers Market to answer questions from the public. Many hours were spent revitalizing the Redding Library Rooftop Demonstration Garden to showcase drought-tolerant plants. Volunteers provide worm bins to schools to teach children about soil and vermiculture. Other projects include the McConnell Arboretum, Whole Earth Festival and Carter House gardens. The following link takes you to the Master Gardener’s of Shasta County web site.