Pella Chronicle


August 19, 2011

Marion County Master Gardener classes begin Sept. 6th

Pella — Master Gardener classes begin September 6, 2011 in Marion County.  Master Gardeners are individuals who have an interest in horticulture, have taken the Master Gardener training offered by the extension service, and share their time and expertise with other gardeners. It is the acquisition of knowledge, the skill in gardening, and giving back to the community that distinguishes a Master Gardener from other gardeners.

The purpose of the Iowa Master Gardener Program is to provide sound horticultural information to the citizens of Iowa through the volunteer efforts of Master Gardeners. Master Gardeners are residents of a community who take an active interest in horticulture. They receive training in horticulture through the Iowa State University Extension Service. In return for their training, Master Gardeners volunteer in extension horticulture programs and projects which enhance the community.

Classes will be held on Tuesday (and four Thursday) evenings from 6:30-9:30 PM in September and October at the Marion County Extension Office.  They will be held in two formats; classes viewed via the Internet and classes with an on-site presenter.  Additionally a  “Class on Campus,” will be held in Ames at Iowa State University on one of two designated Saturdays in October (October 15th or 29th).  The training group will be assigned one date; however, individuals may attend the other date if needed.  

 There is a tuition fee of $150.00.  This fee covers a resource guide, a class workbook with class outlines, and other materials.  Many ISU publications are related to the materials covered and may be purchased or downloaded.  The registration deadline is August 25th; after that there is a $25 additional charge.  Class space is limited to no more than 15, and there must be a minimum of 6 to conduct classes.  As a result, it is very important that interested individuals register early!  Go to to learn more and to register online.

Those completing the fall classes will become Master Gardener Interns.  To become a certified Master Gardener, a minimum of 40 hours community service must be completed prior to January 1, 2013.  There are currently 34 active, certified Master Gardeners in Marion County.  

For more information and a complete course schedule, contact: Karen Ackley, Master Gardener Coordinator, Marion County Extension Office, 641-842-2014,

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