LINN COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS
The Linn County Master Gardeners are a dedicated group of trained volunteers willing to share their horticulture knowledge, a love of gardening, an enthusiasm for learning, and a commitment to helping others.
Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, and gardens. They are willing to learn more and share their knowledge about horticulture. Master Gardeners attend classes taught by Iowa State University Extension staff and specialists. The program offers 40 hours of instruction that covers topics such as lawn care, flower and vegetable gardening, ornamental trees and shrubs, fruit crops, and houseplants. Training also covers insects, disease and weed control, soil and plant nutrition, as well as pesticide safety.
In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer 40 hours of service back to their local county extension programs by the end of the calendar year following completion of class hours. The type of service done by Master Gardeners includes: educating youth and the community, answering questions on the "Hortline," answering horticulture related questions at a booth at public events, and planting demonstration educational garden plots. Once the 40 hours are completed, interns become Master Gardeners and are then required to volunteer 20 hours a year and obtain 10 educational hours a year to stay certified.
Availability and Workshops
Master Gardeners are available at for questions and/or tours on the following schedule...
Lowe Park Greenhouse
Tuesdays, 10 a.m.–noon
Thursdays, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Lowe Park Demonstration Gardens
Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m.–dusk
Thursdays, 9 a.m.–noon
Taube Park Farmers' Markets
1st, 3rd, & 4th Saturdays of the month, 8–11:30 a.m.
An Evening with Master Gardeners
The Linn County Master Gardeners would like to invite you to a Family Gardening for Food and Fun evening at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month from April through September. The evening will be an informal/interactive discussion of pertinent topics followed by a snack and beverage. Topics being considered are seed starting, container gardening, pollinators, keeping weeds and pests at bay, harvesting and storing the garden, and putting the garden to bed. The evening may include a walk through the demonstration gardens, the orchard, or just around the Park.
The Lowe Park Greenhouse is a joint project between the City of Marion and the ISU Extension Linn County Master Gardeners. The greenhouse is used as a classroom for educational workshops, growing plants for the Lowe Park demonstration gardens, the Linn County Master Gardener Plant Sale, flowers for the Marion Parks Department & the donation of vegetable plants to low income families who are supplementing their diet with home grown foods, and various other projects.
The Linn County Master Gardeners’ Lowe Park Demonstration Gardens and ABC Discovery Garden offer an outdoor plant growing lab. Visit our public outdoor plant learning lab at Lowe Park, 4500 N 10th Street in Marion, Iowa.
Twelve continuously developing gardens are available for public education and enjoyment. The gardens are accessible all day, every day. Take a self-guided tour through the gardens using the Demonstration Garden Brochure available at Lowe Park in the garden mail box (pictured above). Linn County Master Gardeners are available to answer questions regularly on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings.
Demonstration Orc hard
The Lowe Park Orchard was planted by local volunteers and is cared for through a partnership between Trees Forever, Fruit TreeKeepers, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Linn County Master Gardeners. As the trees and bushes mature they will provide beauty as they bloom in the spring and produce delicious and nutritious snacks for visitors to Lowe Park as the fruit ripens. The orchard will be used for educational opportunities such as pruning, pest management and harvesting.