Who We Are

The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program through the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension Service. For a nominal fee, people with an active interest in horticulture receive 40 hours of instruction from ISU Extension staff and specialists.  Topics include:

  • Annual and perennial flowers
  • Soils
  • Composting
  • Plant Pathology
  • Entomology
  • Woody Ornamentals
  • Turfgrass
  • Tree and small fruits
  • Houseplants
  • Vegetables
  • Weed Control
  • Pesticide Safety
  • Plant propogation
  • Animal ecology

In return, participants volunteer for 40 hours within a year to community and Extension programs and projects related to horticulture.  After the first year there are recertification requirements to stay in the program.  The purpose of the Master Gardener program is to provide current, research-based home horticulture information and education. Activities in Johnson County include:

  • Hortline
  • Demonstration garden
  • Plum Grove Heritage Gardens
  • Speakers bureau
  • Attended displays
  • Firefighter's Memorial, Coralville IA
  • Newspaper articles

Individuals may also develop their own projects with approval of the steering committee.  Johnson County Master Gardeners provide between 4.000 and 5,000 hours of volunteer service to the community each year.

The Master Gardener program was developed by an Extension agent in Washington state in 1972 to help with the volume of horticulture questions that were coming into his office.  Since then, the concept has been adopted in 46 states.  In Iowa, the first program was in 1977 in Scott County.  Today almost all of Iowa's 99 counties have Master Gardeners.  Johnson County held their first class in 1982.  Since then, about 250 people have received training through our local Extension office. 

Master Gardeners have varied backgrounds and interests, but all have a love of horticulture and a desire to share that love with others.

| HomeWho We Are | Related Sites | Plum Grove |  

Share |