Projects Working With Dirt

Working with Dirt projects offer volunteers an opportunity to grow and maintain plants or trees. These community service projects offer volunteers the opportunity to learn best horticultural practices while working side by side with highly experienced gardeners.
Many of these projects are open to the public to participate.

If you have questions or interest in any project please email

Plant SproutingCorrales Community Gardens

Volunteers plant and maintain Corrales Community Garden spaces. In 2022-23 volunteers begam developing the Storybook Garden at the Corrales Library. This project features the work of local artists and an edible garden for children. Master Gardeners have designed and developed this space featuring raised beds and espalier fruit trees. This garden is adjacent to the Pollinator Garden developed by the master gardeners in 2020.

SEMG volunteers are able to work on design, plant selection as well as plant maintenance. Multiple times a year, youth are invited to the gardens and with the help of master gardeners plant vegetables for harvest in the spring, summer and fall.  While working the gardens volunteers are frequently approached by members of the public with gardening questions, providing an opportunity for outreach activity. Volunteers have an opportunity to learn about plants for different spaces, purposes, and soils and to practice pruning and planting skills, as well as share information with other master gardeners.

Corrales Family PracticeThe Corrales Family Practice/Harper Community Garden

The Corrales Family Practice/Harper Community Garden is a donation garden. We grow a variety of fresh vegetables for St Felix Pantry and the Corrales Senior Center. Volunteers from the community and the Sandoval Extension Master Gardeners in collaboration with Seed2Need staff the garden.

New BeginningsNew Beginnings Garden

Our Lady of Our Sorrows Catholic Church

The New Beginnings Garden is a joint garden project initiated in 2011 between the Sandoval County Master Gardeners and the Valle del Sol Adult PSR Program. The New Beginnings clients, with assistance & advice from volunteer Master Gardeners, grow vegetables and ornamentals in elevated garden beds and in a large in-ground plot.  The project incorporates horticultural, environmental, and nutritional education as part of the late winter through fall gardening activities.  Volunteers and PSR clients alike have enjoyed the camaraderie and team spirit that grows each year with this project.  The New Beginnings clients have gained an amazing appreciation for nature, gardening, harvesting fresh produce along with individual enhanced self-esteem.
The parish, its employees, and volunteers are stakeholders of this project.

Normally, the project team meets weekly from April through September.   The project team meets less frequently in the fall through the first frost.  Thereafter, the meeting times are selected by the team to meet indoors.

Placitas Community LibraryPlacitas Community Library

453 NM-165, Placitas (approximately 4+ miles from I25 on the north side)

The Placitas Community Library (PCL) maintains the Library’s Certified Wildlife Habitat, native garden/landscape (as a local demonstration of xeriscape) and labyrinth that draws many residents/visitors on this Sandoval County property.  As such, the all-volunteer Landscaping Committee is responsible for garden planning/designing, weeding, maintaining, and upgrading the Library grounds.  The Landscape Committee also is involved with the Library’s annual fund-raising Plant Sale, and the Placitas Garden Tour, of which the PCL Library gardens/property are a part.

Seed to Need

Seed2Need maintains two acres of garden space, two orchards and a greenhouse. All are located in Corrales on land donated by local property owners. In the fall, we also help glean fruit from other orchards in Corrales and the North Valley.

Seed2Need is a  collaborative effort between the Sandoval Extension Master Gardeners, property owners in the village of Corrales and other volunteer groups. Our mission is to reduce hunger in our community by growing fresh fruits and vegetables and donating it to food pantries in Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. Since 2010, Seed2Need has donated over 695,000 pounds of produce. The food pantries we serve pick up the produce at the gardens. As a result, it can be in the hands of the families who need it within hours of harvest. The increase in unemployment and food insecurity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent sharp increases in the cost of groceries and gasoline make Seed2Need’s mission more important now than ever.

Seed2Need is a 501(c)3. The financial resources and equipment necessary to do this project come from grants and private donations. For more information, follow us on Facebook at Seed2Need or at Several Seed2Need videos are also available on YouTube. Members of the public are invited to volunteer with this project. To receive work session notices, click the “Get Involved” link on and enter your name and email address.

Tree StewardsTree Stewards

Tree Stewards is now a statewide training and volunteer program that aims at promoting and enhancing a healthy urban forest.  Volunteers receive training from NMSU, NM Forestry, Albuquerque Forestry, or other qualified arborists on tree basics, tree identification, tree planting, pruning, tree diagnostics and problem management, tree selection for specific sites, working with the public on events such as Arbor Day, seedling giveaways, public tree monitoring, and educational classes.

Water Wise Demonstration Garden (WWG)

950 Pine Tree Road, Rio Rancho (the garden is between Esther Bone Library and Rio Rancho Post Office).

The Water Wise Demonstration Garden (WWG) in Rio Rancho is a cooperative effort between the City of Rio Rancho Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, and SEMG, who also partner with Keep Rio Rancho Beautiful, Rio Rancho Tree Stewards and local businesses. The one-acre Water Wise Demonstration Garden adjoins Rio Rancho’s Veterans Memorial Park. The garden is divided into multiple gardening zones showcasing landscapes and plants that grow and thrive in the high desert  The Garden features xeriscape principles, effective drip/bubbler/spray irrigation, and the use of various mulches to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.

Donate to Sandoval Master Gardeners

Sandoval Extension Master Gardeners educate and serve our communities in sustainable high desert gardening. Donations are tax deductible.

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