ISU Extension Hosting “The Benefits of Native Vegetation in Iowa’s Roadsides” Presentation Next Month

OSKALOOSA — Mahaska County Master Gardeners will be hosting Ben Hoskinson, Mahaska County Roadside Vegetation Manager at a program to be held Tuesday, February 7, beginning at 7 pm.  The presenter will speak about the history of Roadside Vegetation Management in Iowa and Mahaska County with discussion about where it all started and where we are now.

In mid 1970s alternatives to conventional roadside management started and led to Iowa becoming one of the first states to establish native vegetation on roadsides at city, county and state levels.  Mahaska County began their  program in the late 1990s; with Hoskinson as the IRVM since 2005.  They restore and reconstruct native vegetation in county right-of-way to produce a cost-effective solution to roadside weed and erosion control.  Over 50,000 acres have been established to native grasses, wildflowers, and other select types of vegetation in Iowa right of ways as Iowa’s plans are implemented along state and federal highways in addition to city and county roadsides.

The event is free and open to the public.  Registration is not required to attend, but appreciated.  Inclement weather will postpone the event.  If in doubt, please call 641-673-5841, check local media, our website, and the Iowa State University  Extension and Outreach-Mahaska County or Mahaska County Master Gardener Facebook pages.

Mahaska County Master Gardeners are celebrating their twentieth year.  The local program organized after the county held their first training.  The educational volunteer program, sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, provides current, research based, home horticulture information and education to the citizens of Iowa through programs and projects.  Master Gardeners receive horticulture training, and volunteer to promote a mission of education and service.  The program is open to anyone 18 or older with an interest in gardening and a willingness to use their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to make a positive impact on their local community.  Mahaska County will be hosting a hybrid training February 20-April 28, with applications due February 3.  To learn more visit

More information about this and other education events can be found at the Mahaska County Extension Office; 212 North I Street; Oskaloosa Phone 641-673-5841; and 


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