Registration open for fall Master Gardener training

New flipped classroom model will allow for increased hands-on experiences

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program will hold its core training sessions this fall for individuals interested in becoming Master Gardener volunteers.

The Master Gardener program is looking for people who are passionate about volunteering and gardening. No previous garden knowledge is required. The program equips participants to grow in knowledge about gardening best practices. After the training, Master Gardeners volunteer in their communities, making significant contributions such as giving produce to food pantries and demonstrating garden best practices at Iowa’s county fairgrounds.

New for 2018 is the flipped classroom model that was offered at six locations last year. Lectures that were previously given during classroom sessions are now available to be watched at home, freeing up class time for hands-on activities and tours of local gardens.

Offering a flipped classroom allows trainees to watch the course lectures at their own pace. Additionally, receiving hands-on experiences during class will increase the level of learning and give trainees an opportunity to work together and share ideas and experiences.

The start date for the training is Aug. 23. Class on campus training session will be held on Nov.3, bringing all Master Gardener trainees together for hands-on workshops with ISU Extension and Outreach instructors.

For more information about local Master Gardener training, contact Yvonne McCormick, ISU Extension and Outreach Horticulturist serving Hamilton, Humboldt and Webster Counties at 515-835-9326 or email

Those interested in the course can apply at Training fees are $195.

After completing the course, Master Gardener trainees work as volunteers within the community, volunteering 20 hours per year and building their gardening know-how by participating in ten hours of continuing education.

Individuals not interested in becoming a Master Gardener volunteer can still receive training. The ProHort program allows individuals to gain knowledge while earning a certificate of completion. Cost for the ProHort program is $550 and does not include any volunteer requirements.

Nearly 2,000 Master Gardeners were active across Iowa in 2017, compiling more than 115,000 volunteer hours. Master Gardeners volunteered nearly 60 hours each, significantly more than the 20 hours required. Those volunteer hours are valued at $2.7 million.