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Riley County

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The Master Gardener Program is a Kansas State University Extension program, which provides horticultural training to individuals who then volunteer as Master Gardeners in their communities. Our local program started in 1989.  

What does a Master Gardener Do?

A Master Gardener talks to people about plants and gardening. If you like people and plants and are willing to learn and then share your knowledge with others, you can become a Master Gardener. Master Gardeners volunteer time to educate and advise the public on gardening and horticulture, and participate in gardening related projects and community events. Here in Riley County, Master Gardeners organize the Annual Manhattan Area Garden Tour, assist with school gardens, help with the county landscaping plantings, maintain the butterfly garden at the Sunset Zoo and the rose garden at the Gardens at Kansas State University, give presentations at educational events, and many other things.

The function of the Riley County Master Gardeners as well as the roles and responsibilities of the group's Board of Directors are governed by the by-laws.

How Do I become a Master Gardener?

Every fall, a Master Gardener training class is offered. The next class for Riley County will take place in September - October. The training consists of a 48 hour class, taught every Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm at the Riley County Courthouse by KSU Extension faculty and staff. Trainees receive education on a variety of topics, such as basic botany, soils, fertility, turf grass, landscape management, ornamental trees and shrubs, herbaceous plants, vegetable gardening, indoor gardening, pest management, and plant pathology. After completion of the training, trainees are required to complete at least 40 hours of volunteer service during their initial year as a Master Gardener. After the first year, Master Gardeners retain their certification by completing 10 hours of volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education.

Master Gardener Training Application

The next planned training for Riley County is September-November. 

Fall 2024 Schedule 

To apply for the Extension Master Gardener Program submit an application to the Riley County Extension office. 

Form fillable application

Volunteer Service Reporting System

Report volunteer service and continuing education hours

Garden Tour Site Descriptions

2023 Outcomes

49 volunteers

1257 service hours

10292 contacts

$39,972.60 value to community

384 advanced training hours