Outreach Center

College of the Environment and Life Sciences

URI Master Gardener Program

URI Master Gardener Program 2URI Master Gardeners participate in meaningful volunteer activities that protect environmental quality, improve the local food system and build healthier communities.  The URI Master Gardener Program State Coordinator facilitates the annual Core Training and provides guidance for Master Gardener continuing education and community projects.

The URI Master Gardener Core Training is a fourteen-week course for lifelong learners on the fundamentals of horticulture taught by URI faculty, extension educators and local experts. Graduates of the URI Master Gardener Core Training serve as grassroots educators, bringing the science base of the land grant university system to residents, children, community gardeners and families. URI Master Gardener volunteers have a positive impact locally, while continuing to learn about cutting-edge gardening practices and functional gardening.  Our volunteers:

  • Provide research-based information at local events, field trips, in-garden  presentations and through the hotline and email service.
  • Grow food for local food pantries and empower community gardeners, youth and families to grow their own food and cook with fresh, healthy ingredients;
  • Display cutting edge gardening techniques in demonstration gardens to encourage gardening for biodiversity, water quality improvement and increased yields in small spaces


The Core Training curriculum, taught by URI faculty, staff and industry experts include:

  • RWP Produce Donation ProgramSoil science and plant nutrition
  • Botany and plant propagation
  • Entomology
  • Plant diseases
  • Organic gardening techniques
  • Food Safety
  • Gardening for wildlife and water quality
  • Sustainable turf management
  • Pruning
  • Composting
  • Vegetable production
  • Fruit production

Each student receives access to online course readings with take-home quizzes and in-class activities to solidify concepts. Optional hands-on Saturday sessions allow students to go more in-depth into certain topic areas. Upon successful completion of the URI Master Gardener Program, trainees become "URI Master Gardener Interns" and are required to complete 50 hours of volunteer service to earn the title of certified "URI Master Gardener". This "on-the-job" training allows participants to apply the concepts learned in class on the ground.


Vanessa Venturini

Vanessa Venturini

Master Gardener Program State Coordinator
Program Development Specialist

2015 URI Master Gardener Program Scholarship Application Core Training

Applications for the 2015 URI Master Gardener Core Training is now closed

Events and Workshops

Looking for URI Master Gardeners to staff a Kiosk at an upcoming event or book at Master Gardener speaker for a public presentation?  Visit the URI Master Gardener Association website for more information. Connect with the URI Gardening and Environmental Hotline for help with your gardening questions!

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