Advanced Master Gardener: Water Quality

Training at MG College 2007

The Advanced Master Gardener Water Quality Training will be offered in conjunction with Master Gardener College 2007.  This training is intended to help Units that cannot muster enough participants or instructors to host the training in their home unit.  Core training in both technical areas and in programming will be offered at MG College, but the trainees will be expected to return to their units, and work closely with their Agent and/or Unit Coordinator to complete the exercises required to become an Advanced Master Gardener.

This year the Advanced Master Gardener Training is being opened to educators that are not Master Gardeners for College Credit.  Registrants for this course must register and pay tuition with Virginia Tech.


  •  Must be a Master Gardener.  This training is not open to Master Gardener Trainees nor interns.  All participants must have completed all of the requirements to become a Master Gardener prior to commencing this Advanced Master Gardener Training.
  •  Must have the express permission of their local Agent and/or Unit Coordinator.
  • Must pay an additional fee for the additional instruction, and the Handbook
  • Non-Master Gardener educators taking the course for college credit must register, pay tuition, and complete all course work and a project to earn a passing grade.

Course of Study:

 Candidates will take a prescribed course of study offered at MG College.  In addition to the Advanced Master Gardener Technical Training offered Wednesday all day, and Thursday in the morning, Advanced Master Gardener Water Quality will participate in a Service Learning Experience on Thursday afternoon.  All participants will help to design and build a rain garden.  Additionally, all participants will take all of the following courses.

The curriculum will include the following subject areas:

  • Unit 1 Introduction to Advanced Master Gardener – Water Steward
    • Groundwater Basics
    • Non-Point Source Pollution
    • Introduction to Advanced Master Gardeners
  • Unit 2 Understanding Plant-Soil-Water Relationships 
    • Effects of Soils on Water Quality
    • Erosion & Runoff Techniques for reducing Negative Soil Impacts on Water Quality
  • Unit 3 Protecting Water Quality through Better Turf Management
    • Best Management Practices for Lawns and Turf
  • Unit 4 Protecting Water Quality with Landscape Design
    • Landscape Design and Use to Protect Water Quality
    • Yardwaste Management
  • Unit 5 Protecting Water Quality through Better Irrigation Practices
    • Importance of Irrigation Practices to Water Quality
    • Better Irrigation Practices
  • Unit 6 Pesticide Management 
    • Pesticides and How They Affect Water Quality
    • Proper Pesticide Use Pesticide Alternatives
  • Unit 7 Nutrient Management
    • Nutrients and Water Quality
    • Understanding Nitrogen Nutrient Management Techniques
    • Fertigation Techniques
  • Unit 8 Septic System Management
    • Septic Systems and
    • Maintenance of Well Sites
  • Unit 9 Low Impact Development (LID)
    • Principles of LID
    • Rain harvesting techniques
    • Rain Gardens
  • Unit 9 – Extension Programming
  • Unit 10 Presentation and final plan – required after class work and additional Service Projects

Required Classes will include:

  • Wednesday 9:00AM until 5:00PM Lectures and presentations
  • Thursday 9:00AM until 12:00 Noon LID and Rain Garden Design
  • Thursday 1:00PM until 5:00 PM  Rain Garden Installation (required for Water Stewards) Get hands-on experience in installing a homeowner sized rain garden. You work alongside academic and practicing experts and be able to glean from their knowledge and real-life experience of installing and maintaining rain gardens.
  • Friday 9:30 – 10:30 AM The Voyages of Captain John Smith (required for Water Stewards) Kent Mountford
  • Friday 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Responsible Irrigation Practices (with a view on pesticide alternatives) (required for Water Stewards) Andy Hankins
  • Friday 1:30-3:00 BMPs for Lawn & Turf (required for Water Stewards) Mike Goatley, Extension Turf Grass Specialist will talk about turf management from a water quality perspective. This will touch on water-wise gardening but from a turf perspective.
  • Friday 3:30-5:00 Phytoremediation in the Landscape (required for Water Stewards) Limit of 40. Bonnie Appleton, Extension Specialist from the Hampton Roads Ag Research and Extension Center, will talk about some exciting new work in cleaning up storm-water runoff using aquatic and terrestrial vegetation.
  • Saturday 9:00 – 9:30 AM  Operation Rejuvenation – Restoring Mississippi’s Coastal MG   Programs – Lelia Kelly, Horticulture Extension Specialist for Mississippi and Homer Richardson, VP, Mississippi Master Gardener Association
  • Saturday 9:30 – 10:30 AM Protecting Water Quality with Landscape Design (required for Water Stewards) Laurie Fox,Extension Specialist from the Hampton Roads Ag Research and Extension Center
  • Saturday 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Thinking Outside the Muffin: Bodacious Plants for Your Consideration Holly Scoggins. There are too many fantastic species that we overlook or   are hard to find because garden centers think "they don't look good in the container".  Dr.   Scoggins presents fabulous annuals, perennials, and woody plants that you may not be    familiar with or think you don't have room for.  Techniques for subduing some to manageable size included!
  • Saturday Extension Programming Pat Reilly, in Prince William County (required for Water Stewards; open to all Advanced MGs). Learn how to research community needs, determine appropriate teaching methods to meet needs, ensure staffing/resources, and plan for continual improvement. This session runs from 1:30-5:00.
  • Sunday 9:00 – 10:00 AM Wonders of the World through a Gardener's Eye Diane Relf Since her retirement, spreading the message of healing through gardening has taken Diane and Dave to beautiful countries around the world. She will share some of the gardens and other glories of nature and people through images taken over the last three years in Holland, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, Korea, Norway and Peru.
  • Sunday 10:30 – 11:30 AM Garden Creatures from Mars -- a look at hardy aroids Tony Avent
  • After College
    • Master Gardeners will be required to return to their units, consult with their Agent, assess community needs and develop a project.
    • Those taking the course for credit will be required to develop an educational and/or service project dealing with water quality.



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Last modified: 09/10/13