Graduation was held on Monday, March 19, for individuals who met the Master Gardener class requirements offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Current Master Gardeners were presented with awards for their volunteer efforts during 2017, and participants of the 2017 Fall Master Gardener class were recognized as interns. The Story County Master Gardener Association, along with Story County Extension and Outreach, hosted the evening program and dinner at Reiman Gardens in Ames.

Master Gardener interns who completed their required 40 hours of volunteer service received name badges and pins recognizing them as Master Gardeners. Persons becoming Master Gardeners are: Sarah Binder, JoAnn Boehmer, Sally Ann Clausen, Bonnie Dix, Carolyn Harryman, Susan Jensen, Terry Lewis, Jo Moore, Lisa Schainker, Suzanne Thompson and Jane Tomesch

The following participants of the Fall 2017 class were recognized as Master Gardener interns: Corly Blahnik, Nora Nelson, Paola Sepulveda, Cayla Taylor

To remain an Active Master Gardener, a volunteer must log at least twenty hours of volunteer service and ten hours of continued education every year. Many people volunteer well above the required hours. Those who volunteered a total of more than 60 and up to over 250 hours were: Candy Bostrom, Michelle Boswell, Sally Ann Clausen, Andrea Dorn, Madonna Feeney, Janet Moore, Jackie Runyan, Susan Siev, Ann Wilbur, Sarah Binder, Dianne Draper, Don Draper, Bronwyn Frame, Jerry Greving, Kent Heikens, Susan Jensen, Tom Jordan, Ann Malven, Nan Ripley, Linda Sharpnack and Susan Wolfe

An award was also given for Career Volunteer Hours. Those Master Gardeners receiving awards were Wayne Messer for 500+ hours and Kent Heikens for 1000+ hours.

The Outstanding Master Gardener honor was awarded to Tom Jordan for his years of dedication to the Master Gardener program. Susan Stocker, Story County Master Gardener Association president, presented Jordan with his award.

The event also included a presentation from various volunteer representatives to provide Master Gardeners with volunteer opportunities they can take advantage of.

Special thanks were given to numerous Master Gardeners for their assistance with various projects during the year, as well as numerous partnering agencies within Story County.

“The purpose of the program is to provide sound horticultural information to the citizens of Iowa through the volunteer efforts of ISU Master Gardeners,” stated Katie Williams, Story County Extension program assistant and Master Gardener coordinator. Across the state, Iowa Master Gardeners provided over 115,055 hours of volunteer service. That is worth over $2.7 million!

In 2017, Story County Master Gardener’s logged 3,905 volunteer hours and 992 Continuing Education hours! They completed projects at libraries, churches, city parks, the County Fair and State Fair, assisted living facilities, school gardens and prairie reserves. To do this, it took partners like Reiman Gardens, the Iowa Arboretum, schools, cities and civic and community groups. The Master Gardener volunteers are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and their love of all things gardening. Williams also congratulated those Master Gardeners who applied for and received the Growing Together Grant for continued work and education at the Beloit Children’s Learning Garden.

For more information regarding the Master Gardener Program, please contact Katie Williams, Story County Extension program assistant at or call 515-382-6551.