Volunteering with CSU Extension in Broomfield
Volunteers are a key ingredient in bringing the knowledge and resources of Colorado State University Extension to local communities, including Broomfield. Whether it’s answering horticulture-related questions, giving educational talks, or developing STEM programs for local youth, CSU Extension offers opportunities to give back to the community in a meaningful way.
Most of the volunteer programs in Broomfield require a long-term commitment with extensive training as described below. Be sure to check back, though, as we hope to offer other opportunities in the future.
Colorado Master Gardener Program
Master Gardeners describe themselves as “plant people helping people grow,” and we look for volunteers interested in providing outreach using research-based horticulture information. If this sounds appealing to you, here are the steps to becoming a Colorado Master Gardener:
- Apply online. Training is offered each winter, and applications are generally accepted in September and October. Following an application review and background/reference checks, we will schedule an interview. If accepted, the training fee is $200.
- Train. Newly-accepted volunteers begin as Apprentices. As an “apprentice” it means you’re in training to become a Master Gardener. We provide 10 weeks of core training courses that occur through hybrid instruction: online, live webinars (also recorded), and in-person when possible.
- Volunteer. Following training, we require a 50-hour volunteer commitment in Broomfield your first year. The CMG Volunteer’s audience is exclusively home gardeners. Subjects of interest include landscape plants, turf, trees, house plants, vegetable gardens, insects, and greenhouses. Types of volunteer service include answering phone calls and emails from Broomfield residents, staffing diagnostic clinics, teaching gardening classes, writing newspaper and website articles, working in Broomfield’s demonstration garden, and mentoring community gardening and greening projects.
- Annual Renewal. Continuing CMGs must contribute at least 24 hours of volunteer service annually and complete 12 continuing education hours (often provided by CSU in your local county or online). CMGs in good standing complete renewal paperwork and contribute annual dues (typically less than $35) to recommit for the upcoming year.
AmeriCorps Service Program
Technically, the CSU Extension AmeriCorps program does not recruit volunteers, but rather service members who are paid a small stipend to develop and deliver (STEM) programs to local students. After being selected and attending orientation/training, AmeriCorps members must commit to completing 900 hours of service in a one-year period. The service year runs from August through July. Applications are typically accepted during the month of July.
What are the benefits of serving as an AmeriCorps member with Broomfield County Extension? In addition to making a difference in the community, service members:
- Receive a living allowance of up to $7,140
- Earn a Segal Education Award of $3,098 upon completion of service
- Build your professional network and develop valuable career skills
Are you interested in becoming a 4-H leader or volunteer? The Broomfield 4-H club (Red & Yellow Lions) meets locally but is administered through Boulder. For more information, email Broomfield4H@gmail.com or visit the Boulder County 4-H website.