Dickinson Co. Master Gardener Projects Awarded Mini Grant Through ISU Extension & Outreach SNAP-Education Program

Thu 2-18-2021

(Spirit Lake)-- The Dickinson County Master Gardener Program is among 32 projects awarded mini grants through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach's SNAP-Education program. The goal of the “Growing Together” mini grants is to increase food security and promote access to healthy foods. Sue Boettcher of Dickinson County ISU Extension and Outreach tells KUOO news they'll use the funds locally to help plant two donation gardens...Boettcher & Mini Grant01 

"The funding that we get from the mini grant helps us to buy hoses and any of the things to work the garden but also the plants and the seeds, and then everything, all the work gets done by Master Gardener volunteers and then all the produce goes to our local food pantries so it's a win-win for our county."

Boettcher adds they are always looking for volunteers to help out with the gardens...Boettcher & Mini Grant02 

"Last year put a little kuhbosh on some of those volunteers because some of us are older. So actually Caleb Frostestad took over the donation garden here in Spirit Lake last year and did his Eagle Scout project. He and his family did a lot of work. We did have volunteers come in and do some work but he did most of it last year. Prior to that Theresa Golden has done it. And then out at Camp Foster Tammy Carr has been running that one and then we have several volunteers that go out and help with that."

Boettcher says they currently have 10 active volunteers in the Master Gardener program in Dickinson county. She adds the annual training for those interested in becoming a Master Gardener is held over a 10 week period every fall...Boettcher & Mini Grant03 

"It will start in August, I believe. It has changed a little bit over the years. This year it's going to be completely virtual, it was last year, it's even going to be done a little bit different this year, but it will be all virtual so you'll do some homework and then you come on for the virtual program and then when you complete the program which is about 10 weeks, then the following year you have to complete 40 hours of community service which sounds like a lot but it doesn't take much to get it. We've got a lot of great projects going on here in the community, and then you become a certified Master Gardener. And then you can do lots of projects like we say we have stuff going on at the Nature Center, at the library, of course the donation gardens, there are lots of things that can be done to help the community and everybody. You meet other gardeners. You really make some new friendships all around gardening."

More information on how to become a Master Gardener is available by contacting Boettcher at the Dickinson County ISU Extension and Outreach office at 336-3488.