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.
Christine Prins, TRA Master Gardener Coordinator
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.