The Master Gardener Program was first offered at Washington State University in 1972. Dr. David Gibby, an extension agent for department of agriculture and horticulture created the program in response to a high demand for urban horticulture and gardening advice. Volunteers were trained in horticulture in order to respond to an overwhelming public demand for gardening information. Master Gardener programs now operate in forty-five states and across Canada.
Typically, Master Gardeners receive extensive training and in turn, assist with garden lectures, phone diagnostic service, research, speaking at public events, writing articles for publications and the internet, and partnering with other community programs, gardens, and educational facilities, as well as volunteering hands on in gardens and the community. The Master Gardeners Association of Alberta exists to support Master Gardeners in these endeavors, providing them with opportunities to learn, connect and grow!