Master Gardeners Make an Impact in the Community

October - December 2002

Larry Loenser, Black Hawk county extension education director


Black Hawk County , according to Census reports, has lost population since the 1980s. People want to live where they can get good jobs and live in a community with a high level of quality of life. One factor that is important to quality of life is physical attractiveness and activities impacted through horticulture.


The Iowa State University Master Gardener program continues as an active program with interest and enthusiasm from the community. Each year another 20 students become trained in the county. This group of people improve the physical and activity opportunities in the community by volunteering their horticulture talents.

Master Gardeners have played a big role in the continued development and effectiveness of Green Scene which is a volunteer organization which raises money to purchase and plant trees to beautify communities in Black Hawk Co. Their plant sale this year raised $40,000 to be used for community betterment projects.

Master Gardeners were also involved seven years ago in the initiation and development of the approximately 60 acre Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens located south of Waterloo .


Last year Master Gardeners in the county reported 6,099 hours of horticulture community service and 8,737 educational contacts. They worked with students in school gardens, maintained and lead tours of the gardens, maintained prairie plantings, presented seminars at horticulture conferences, worked at educational booths and many other activities. Master Gardeners, working this year in the county extension office, helped over 400 County residents with home horticulture educational needs.

Over 9,000 people visited CVABC this spring and summer. Youth programs are now being conducted through the Black Hawk County Extension Office at the Arboretum. ISU Extension is also a partner with the Arboretum and Hawkeye Community College in discussions on plans for a new Horticulture Center to better serve the needs of Black Hawk Co.


Page last updated: July 10, 2006
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