Polk County Master Gardeners to host inaugural DIG Symposium

Altoona, Iowa (December 28, 2023) – Registration is now open for the Polk County Master Gardner’s inaugural Dig Into Gardening (DIG) Symposium. The daylong education event will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center on the DMACC campus in Ankeny on Saturday, March 16, 2024, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Attendees will learn the latest gardening techniques and best practices from a broad range of experts including local Master Gardeners, Iowa State University (ISU) specialists and educators, and other local professionals. Participants will also visit with dozens of vendors ready to share their products and expertise. 

“What will set the DIG Symposium apart from other home and garden shows will be its focus on research-based gardening and horticulture information,” Stephanie Harrington, natural resources program coordinator for ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County. “The Polk County Master Gardeners will utilize all the useful information and resources offered by ISU to educate DIG participants across a wide range of relevant and interesting gardening topics.” 

The event will feature a broad range of topics but center on the theme of “Growing a Greener Tomorrow.” Speakers and activities will center around sustainability and how to incorporate this into gardens, lawns, and landscapes.

“We hope that those attending, whether it’s the home gardener or seasoned professional, can walk away informed, inspired, and ready to dig into their gardens,” Harrington said.

DIG attendees will hear from two keynote speakers and have the option to select from six breakout sessions. Early bird entry to the DIG Symposium is $75 and after February 1, 2024 bumps up to $85. Registration will max out at 200, it is open to the public, and includes lunch. For more information or to register visit https://polkcountymastergardeners.org/DIG-Symposium

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About the Polk County Master Gardeners
Polk County Master Gardeners is a volunteer service organization where advanced horticulture education and training is provided in exchange for volunteer service within the community. In 2023, 375 active Master Gardener volunteers served the community by:
•    Donating nearly 7,000 pounds of fresh produce to local food pantries.
•    Providing community spaces for education and respite through three community gardens. 
o    Demonstration Garden, Urbandale
o    Discovery Garden, Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines
o    Enabling Garden, Altoona 
•    Serving over 11,000 service hours!  
 
About ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County 
For over 100 years, ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County has served its residents by connecting them to research and resources developed by Iowa State University. Knowledge and programs offered through the ISU 
Extension Polk County office have been specifically tailored to represent, enhance, and meet the needs of Polk County residents and community. For 2022 ISU Extension in Polk County will focus on local issues including:     K-12 youth outreach; family and food; and agriculture and the environment. ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County is a part of a 99-county campus backed by research to serve all Iowans to create a strong Iowa.