Facts about the Johnson County Master Gardener program and Kansas State University:
Our program is one of the largest in the United States, with 400+ members. Over the past 5 years, we have volunteered an average 47,094 hours of community service each year. Our vegetable gardens provide nearly 5,000 lbs. of food to local food pantries each summer.
Our program includes community outreach and education through:
• nine demonstration gardens https://www.johnson.k-state.edu/lawn-garden/demonstration-gardens/index.html;
• a horticulture therapy gardening program designed to enrich the lives of residents at a senior living facility – a 2021 Search for Excellence winner
• Junior Master Gardener programs at 5 elementary schools;
• a speakers’ bureau;
• a gardening hotline that operates 5 days a week, staffed by master gardeners during our growing season of March through October;
• a biannual public garden tour that funds our programs;
• scholarships awarded each semester to horticulture students at a local community college and Kansas State University; and
• active participation in the annual Johnson County fair.
Kansas State University, with an enrollment of 21,000, was founded in 1863, and is the first land grant university created under the Morrill Act. It is:
• Located in the Flint Hills, two hours west of Overland Park, in Manhattan, Kansas;
• Known as the “Little Apple”;
• Princeton Review has rated K-State students as the happiest college students in the US;
• Home to the National Bio and Agro Defense Center
o Involved in developing, implementing, and managing research projects, disease response planning, and training programs for multiple state and federal agencies, ranging from the U.S. Departments of Defense, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, to the intelligence community, to help ensure our agriculture and food system is safe.
• K-State’s College of Agriculture, rated third best in the US by US News and Reports, spans 7 departments including Horticulture and Natural Resources.
• Involved in cutting edge international research on prairie ecosystems in the nearby Konza prairie in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy.
• Famous K-Staters
o Eric Stonestreet – actor
o Earl Woods – Father of golfer Tiger Woods
o Jim Colbert – Professional Golfer
o Kristie Alley – Actress
o Erin Brockovich – Activist
o Tim Izo Orindgreff – Black Eyed Peas
o Gordon Jump – Actor “Maytag Man”
o Herbert Dimond, inventor of the snooze alarm