Master Gardeners Plan Winter Webcast Series

Beginning in February, the Master Gardener program with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will provide a winter webcast series in county extension offices across the state.

Speakers for this year’s series were chosen based on current issues and Master Gardener volunteer interest, according to Susan DeBlieck, Master Gardener state coordinator with ISU Extension and with play area for children.

Participants will learn about climate change and native plants, and get tips for designing gardens that encourage children to spend more time outdoors.

“The webcast series gives Master Gardener volunteers a chance to continue their learning, which they can apply to their volunteer projects within the community,” DeBlieck said.

Contact an ISU Extension and Outreach county office to see if they are hosting the webcasts, and for specific details about how you can participate.

Topics and speakers:

  • Iowa Weather: With a changing climate, Iowa will be warmer and wetter. State Climatologist Justin Glisan, from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, will share what people can do to adapt to changing growing conditions.
  • Bring Kids in the Garden: State Master Gardener Coordinator Susan DeBlieck wants adults to help get youth outdoors every day. She’ll share ideas for Master Gardener volunteer project sites and youth landscape design tips.
  • Explore the Ada Hayden Herbarium: Love native plants? Deborah Lewis is the curator of the Ada Hayden Herbarium. Learn about early Iowa botanists, explore the herbarium and Lewis’ favorite native plants. What would we find if we had full-access to the Ada Hayden Herbarium for an hour-long scavenger hunt without worrying about “museum rules” and damaging the specimens (or getting squished between the moveable rows of cabinets)? First, we might find out what the herbarium is, how its samples (specimens) are stored, and why the herbarium is important in teaching and research. Next, participants would track down some favorite specimens – old, rare, lovely, recent, odd. Then, from these specimens, we could perhaps find clues to the stories of a few of the many collectors of Iowa’s native plants who are represented in the herbarium – and how their specimens and research results are still being used. The scavenger hunt list includes Indian-grass, packet, Louis Pammel, morel, plant press, orchid, and, of course, Ada Hayden.

All webcasts count toward Master Gardener continuing education hours and last an hour. For more information, contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office, or contact DeBlieck at 515-294-6764, or


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