Master Gardener Program

Linn County Master Gardeners

Using research-based horticultural knowledge to serve and support Linn County



About the Master Gardener Program

Master Gardeners are community members from a wide variety of backgrounds. They are passionate about serving their communities and sharing gardening best practices and research from ISU. They have taken the Master Gardener training and share their time and expertise as volunteers in community gardens, city beautification projects, and farmers markets to name only a few areas. They love to share knowledge and give back to the community as volunteers. Any resident of Linn County is invited to apply to become a Master Gardener.

Hanging Baskets of Plants

2024 Spring Plant Sale

Friday May 10, 4 - 8pm

Saturday May 11, 8am - noon

Lowe Park Arts & Environment Center, Marion


Join the Linn County Master Gardeners for our annual Charlene Woeste Memorial Plant Sale! Support our volunteers and fill your garden with high quality, locally grown plants.

 Facebook Event page!

Gardening with Youth

June 17 - 19, 2024

Kirkwood Linn Regional Center, Hiawatha


Garden Walk

July 20, 2024

Cedar Rapids

More Coming Soon!

Winter Gardening Fair

February 2025


More to Come!

Linn County Master Gardeners

Here in Linn County, we have over 150 active Master Gardener Volunteers. Our volunteers come from all walks of life but have a common interest in gardening and a passion for the community. In 2022, Linn County Master Gardeners reported over 13,000 hours of volunteer service across the county. We are passionate about food security and how gardening impacts our health and wellbeing.

Our Projects

Community Outreach Gardens

  • Master Gardener volunteers support a number of gardens throughout the county. Produce grown in these gardens is donated to local food pantries to fight food insecurity. In 2022, our gardens and partner organizations donated over 14,000 lbs of fresh produce to Linn County food pantries.

Garden Walk

  • Master Gardeners coordinate tours of public and private gardens every other July with interactive activities planned at each location. Next Garden Walk will be held July 2024.


  • The Linn County Master Gardeners operate a hotline to answer gardening questions from the community. Summer hours of operation: Monday - Thursday 9am - 12, 1pm - 4. Fridays 9am - 12.

    Call: 319-447-0647


    Visit: 1770 Boyson Rd Hiawatha, IA 52233

Demonstration Gardens

  • Design, plan, plant and maintain the plants for themed demonstration/teaching plots at Lowe Park in Marion and Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids. 

Lowe Park Greenhouse

  • Master Gardeners manage the greenhouse at Lowe Park in Marion to grow plants for our donation gardens, plant sale and for the Marion Parks and Rec Department.

Marion Public Seed Library

  • Master Gardeners help to support the free seed library at Marion Public Library

Family Caregivers Center

  • Master Gardeners plan garden-related enrichment activities for the community members who use the Mercy Hospital Family Caregivers Center.

Monarch Research Station

  • Master Gardeners plant and maintain the gardens at the Monarch Research Project campus and provide learning opportunities on the topics of pollinators and Monarch Butterflies.

Plant Sale

  • Linn County Master Gardeners propagate and donate garden plants for the annual Charlene Woeste Memorial Plant Sale in May. Proceeds from this sale return to the Master Gardener Program and help to fund all other projects in the community.

Gardening with Children

  • Master Gardeners plan and teach School Gardens 101 curriculum to area teachers and interested individuals. Participants learn valuable skills and apply their learning to engage students in the science of gardening.

Winter Gardening Fair

  • The Linn County Master Gardeners plan and host this annual day-long educational seminar that offers over 70 classes to the public.
Get Involved

Information about the Master Gardener training process can be found here.

After you complete your training, you'll volunteer in the community at approved Master Gardener projects throughout the county. You'll need to complete 40 hours of volunteering by December 31 of the year following the completion of your training. Projects include working in community gardens with community volunteers, administrative work, answering questions from the public, assisting at our plant sale--there are many different opportunities available.

Thereafter, you'll remain active by attending ten or more hours of continuing education and contributing 20 hours or more of volunteer community service.

Not interested in volunteering?

Register for the core course as a Pro-Hort trainee ($550 fee) and receive a certificate upon completion of the course.

If you have any questions, call the Extension Office at 319.377.9838.

Germinator Newsletter

2023 Archives of the Linn County Master Gardener Newsletter

For Current Master Gardeners

Master Gardener Policies and Procedures

Master Gardener Projects and Chairs

Template for Presentations 

Master Gardener Service Hours 

All Master Gardeners MUST enter their service hours in the online ISU VRS System. Your user name is your first initial and your complete last name.

For Example:

  • Jane Doe, username is JDoe
  • The password is: lamg@rdener
  • They are both case sensitive.
  • Once in the system, please change your password by going to the profile tab.
  • Sign-in to the ISU VRS System

How do I know if an opportunity qualifies for CE credit?

To be counted as CE hours, the classes must be factual, accurate, and provided by a source recognized as research based. Most training opportunities offered by educational institutions, public gardens, and education-focused gardening organizations meet this requirement. Sessions offered by entertainers, mass media, and sales people are less likely to do so. Listening to radio programs, watching television programs, and reading books do not count as continuing


Our trained Master Gardeners are ready to answer all your gardening questions. Our winter in-office hours are 10am - 12pm

1770 Boyson Rd Suite 802, Hiawatha

The Master Gardener Program trains garden enthusiasts to learn, grow, and teach others about plants and gardening in the home landscape. Participants receive 40 hours of training via webcasting, face-to-face, and hands-on workshops, while interacting with others of similar interests. After completing their training, Master Gardener Interns volunteer 40 hours of service in county approved projects related to gardening education to become active Master Gardeners. To maintain active status, Master Gardeners must attend at least 10 hours of county approved continuing education and volunteer at least 20 hours of service on county approved projects.