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Polk County Master Gardeners

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County

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Bus Trips

We look forward to reconnecting with past travelers and meeting new friends for the PCMG Garden Tour Northeast on June 17, 2023. We’ve planned a day full of garden views, education, and shopping in Waterloo-Cedar Falls and Independence. This trip is open to the public.

The cost of the trip is $99 and includes travel, lunch snacks and admission to all gardens!  

  •  We will visit several private gardens on the Grout Museum District Garden Tour presented by Friends of the Grout Historic Houses.
  • You’ll have time to wander through Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens and eat lunch here while enjoying an educational presentation.
  • In the Country Garden and Gifts located in Independence, Iowa is our plant-shopping destination. The mother and son team, Sue and Josh Spece, started the business in 1998 on the family farm. The nursery blends into the display gardens that surround the Spece's home. Customers are encouraged to meander through the ever expanding garden which features three ponds with streams and waterfalls, over 900 varieties of Hostas, rock gardens, trough gardens, ornamental grasses, dwarf conifers, unusual trees and shrubs, and many uncommon sun and shade perennials. During our stop here, Josh will make a presentation on hostas.

The morning of the trip, we will meet at the Polk County Extension Office located at 1625 Adventureland Drive in Altoona. There are plenty of places to park your car for the day. We will begin loading the bus at 6:00 a.m. Departure time is 6:15 a.m. We plan to return to the Extension office by 7:00 p.m. Final trip instructions will be emailed two weeks prior to departure.

You can expect a moderate amount of walking on the trip. Higher fuel costs have caused the bus fees to increase substantially in recent years. The committee worked hard to keep registration fees as low as possible and still provide the full tour experience we have delivered on previous trips. Please register by April 30, 2023.

We anticipate Master Gardeners on the tour will earn 3 - 4 education hours. 

If you have questions about the trip, call Stephanie Harrington at 515 - 957- 5768 or email Carolyn Magnani at:

Register Here

Your 2023 Bus Trip Hosts:

A special thank you to the volunteers on the Polk County Master Gardener tour committee: Laurie and Neil Barrick, Charlene Butz, Jennifer Darling, Susan Ging, Kathy Gocke, Carolyn Magnani, Liz Miller, and Elise Stucky-Gregg. Without you, our trip wouldn't be possible.

Contact Us
Office: 515-957-5768

ISU Extension and Outreach, Polk County:
1625 Adventureland Dr.
Suite A | Altoona, IA 50009

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