Iowa Master Gardener 2013 Trainings Begin in January

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Master Gardener 2013 winter trainings will be held at 16 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county offices beginning in January. The Master Gardener course includes 40 hours of Web-based local training and a one-day training session on the Iowa State University campus.

“Iowans interested in gardening and volunteering in their community should consider joining the Iowa Master Gardener program,” said Denny Schrock, Iowa Master Gardener coordinator. “We welcome gardeners with varying degrees of experience as new trainees, from long-term veterans of gardening to novices.”

Iowa Master Gardener training covers many aspects of gardening – from soil and weed management to botany and growing all types of plants. Since its inception in 1979, the Iowa program has trained more than 10,000 participants. To see a full description of the topics covered, visit the Iowa Master Gardener website at

In exchange for training, program participants are expected to share their time and knowledge in approved projects within their local communities. Trainees must complete a one-year Master Gardener internship consisting of 40 hours of approved volunteer service projects. Additional volunteer hours and ongoing educational updates are required in subsequent years to maintain active Master Gardener status.

“Master Gardeners may work at local public gardens, schools, nursing homes or other community beautification or education projects,” said Schrock. “Some Master Gardeners answer questions on the radio, give presentations at gardening seminars, or discuss plants at local plant sales. There are many ways to volunteer.”

The Master Gardener program is unique both for its community emphasis and because it is based on the broad research-based resources of Iowa State University. Master Gardeners provide a credible source of information about home gardening across Iowa, said Schrock.

Winter 2013 Iowa Master Gardener training

The following Iowa State University Extension Offices will host the winter training. Those interested in the training should contact their local office or one of the offices listed below. Additional locations will be added when there is significant interest and a host site available. Check the Master Gardener website for a current list of host counties.

Counties hosting winter training

  • Black Hawk
  • Bremer
  • Buena Vista
  • Cass
  • Clay, Emmet and Dickinson (location to be determined by participation)
  • Clinton
  • Dallas, Madison and Warren (location to be determined by participation)
  • Dubuque
  • Fayette, Clayton, Allamakee, Winneshiek, Howard, Chickasaw (location to be determined by participation)
  • Greene
  • Henry
  • Linn
  • Pocahontas
  • Polk
  • Story/Boone
  • Washington
  • Woodbury

Contact a county Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office to enroll or express an interest in a local training.