The Tri River Area Master Gardener Program is a vital part of Colorado State University Extension outreach for the counties of Mesa, Delta, Montrose, and Ouray in western Colorado. Our Master Gardener volunteers are our valued partners, helping us provide accurate, research-based information to the members of our communities on many aspects of horticulture.
The Master Gardener Program originated in Washington State in 1973 and rapidly spread across the country. The Master Gardener Program was started to address urban landscaping. The basic concept of the program is that volunteers receive a specific amount of top-quality training from Extension and in return provide back to Extension a specified amount of time and effort. This partnership has been of great benefit to all parties.
The Tri River Area Master Gardener Program began in 1978 with eight volunteers, and has grown to include about 150 members today. Well over 1000 people have gone through the program. During an average year, Tri River Area Master Gardeners assist 10,000 members of our communities in solving their yard and garden problems and becoming better gardeners, thus improving quality of life in western Colorado. Master Gardeners provide educational services to homeowners and other non-commercial gardeners, while Extension agents serve the commercial green industry.
MG Mission Statement
The Colorado State University, Colorado Master Gardener Program volunteer network strives to enhance Coloradans’ quality of life by:
- Extending knowledge-based education throughout Colorado communities to foster successful gardeners;
- Helping individuals make informed decisions about plants to protect neighborhood environments.
We are committed to using environmentally appropriate horticulture to empower gardeners, develop partnerships, and build stronger communities.
The Colorado State University, Colorado Master Gardener Program strives to lead educational efforts to nurture Colorado’s natural environment and communities by:
- Collaborating with the green industry, public agencies, and non-profits to provide current research-based information to the public;
- Developing educational programs for local needs such as water issues, alternative pest management, and ecosystem characteristics, to encourage environmentally sound horticultural practices;
- Reaching out to new audiences through a variety of technologies;
- Providing life-long learning opportunities and a variety of meaningful volunteer options for Colorado Master Gardeners, resulting in a committed, active network of horticultural educators who serve communities across the state;
- Cultivating long-term support and securing abundant resources from diverse constituencies for the Colorado Master Gardener Program by showing the differences that this program makes in Coloradans’ quality of life.
For the main Colorado State University Master Gardener page click here
Local Podcasts-Diggin’ the Garden
- Don’t hurt the bees, just call Western Colorado Beekeepers Association who can safely remove the bees! Please call (970) 812-0080
- For Western Colorado Beekeepers Association website, please click here.
Vegetable Planting Guide
Master Gardener Applications NOW AVAILABLE!
Seedling Trees, Shrubs, Pollinator Perennial Wildflowers & Grasses
Past 2017 Events
Saturday, October 14th: 20th Annual Plant Sale and Tree Auction
Saturday, June 3rd: Free Demonstrations from 9AM-2PM, plus tours!
Native Plant Masters
- The Tri River Area Extension is accepting applications for its 2017 Native Plant Master Program. Participants in Native Plant Master courses learn identification, ecology and human uses of selected Colorado plants emphasizing sustainable landscaping and invasive weeds. For more information click here Native Plant Master Info.
For the adult Native Plant Master Volunteer Application, please click here.
For the youth Native Plant Master Application (age 16-17), please click here.
Non-Volunteer Master Gardener Single Education Courses
TRA CSU Extension will soon be starting their Colorado Master Gardener classes. Though it is too late for participants to sign up for the course this year as a volunteer (registration started in October), TRA offers the different topics as single day options. If there is a particular topic you want to learn about such as woody plants and pruning, soils, turf and many others, contact Susan Honea to reserve your spot at 970-244-1841.
Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association 3rd Annual Conference
Don’t miss the full day of educational and networking sessions, February 21, 2017, that are part of the Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Third Annual Conference. Learn more register by clicking here.
Master Gardener Program Applications 2017
Colorado State University Tri-River Area Extension invites you apply for their Master Gardener Program. Apprentices receive approximately 66 hours of training by Colorado State University Extension agents, local and regional specialists. The classes include information in Botany, Soils, Irrigation, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Trees & Shrubs, Soils, Fertilization, Soil Amendments, Fruit Growing, Turf Care, Vegetable Gardening, Weed and Pest Management, Xeriscape, Native Plants, Perennials and more.
2017 Master Gardener Classes will be Thursday, January 19th-March 30th at the Ute Water Conservancy District Building at 2190 H 1/4 Rd, Grand Junction. The classes will be from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Following the training, an Apprentice Master Gardeners works a minimum of 50 volunteer hours through Extension, assisting clients at their local county offices. The Deadline for applications is Wednesday, December 14, 2017. A non-volunteer option is also available, for an additional charge.
Western Horticulture Society Conference
Monday, Jan. 16. from 8:00-5:00 a Special Shortcourse will be offered at CSU’s Orchard Mesa Research Center for growers wishing to receive training in Food Safety. The full day program will be offered to 35 participants for a fee of $100 (includes lunch and training materials) The course will satisfy the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule – requirement outlined in subsection 112.22(c). To register and for more information, please click here.
CSU Free Workshops
CSU TRA Extension will be hosting two workshops by Whitney Cranshaw, CSU Entomologist, at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. The first workshop will focus on landscape insects and is available for Colorado Master Gardeners and tree care providers to attend. The second workshop will focus on household insects and their control. This workshop will be best for retail employees that sell pesticides and insect control products. Both classes are FREE, so come learn how to provide the best management products and practices to your customers! Call 970.244.1834 to reserve your free seat!
Western Colorado Pest Management Workshop
The Western Colorado Pest Management Workshop is an opportunity for pesticide applicators to earn CEUs for their licensing and for others to gain knowledge. This event is will be held at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction on February 15-16th with many breakout sessions and specific training. For more information call our office at 970-244-1834 or head to our Entomology page!
Western Colorado Soil Health Conference
Taking place on February 23-24, in Delta, CO, this conference is designed to educate producers, government officials, and the broad community about ways to increase organic matter in and the health of our soils through cover crops, green manure, grazing, compost, entomology, and other sustainable practices.
This conference will provide cutting edge information on how to put practices to work on local farms, orchards, and smaller homesteads/gardens.They are pleased to host nationally and locally recognized speakers and panel presenters. For more information, please click here.
On the front range, there are also several great conferences to attend. There is the Progreen Expo, The Premier Rocky Mountain Regional Green Industry Conference February 7-10, 2017 in Denver, CO. TRA Extension Horticulture Agent, Susan Carter, and many other CSU Horticulture Agents and staff will be putting on workshops. There are many classes and exhibits going all week long, so don’t miss out on your opportunity! For more information and registration, please click here.
Second Annual Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants Conference
February 11, 2017: The Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants Conference promotes the inclusion of native plants in our landscaping to benefit pollinators and songbirds, save water, and restore the beauty and health of nature in the places we live, work and play. For more information and to register, please click here.