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WSU Master Gardener Program

Program Contact: Cori Carlton, Master Gardener & Master Recycler Composter Program Manager
(360) 867-2162 •

Who are the WSU Master Gardener Volunteers?

We are a volunteer service gardening organization – cultivating plants, people, and communities since 1973.

Our Thurston County program is part of the statewide WSU Extension Master Gardener program which combines horticulture training and public service. WSU Master Gardener volunteers are trained and certified as community educators to provide professional, unbiased, researched-based home gardening and horticulture information to the public through the following avenues:

  • Question/answer plant clinics
  • Demonstration gardens (Closed Loop Park, Dirt Works, Olympia Farmers Market Garden)
  • Youth gardening programs
  • Other educational programs & community service projects

2019 Upcoming Events and Activities…

Growing Through the Decades-Celebration Garden Tour

Join us in celebrating milestone anniversaries of our demonstration gardens!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Enjoy the day touring one, two or all three, unique public gardens.

Gain ideas and inspiration.

Participate in special anniversary activities at each of the gardens.

  • Closed Loop Park:
    • 11am Peonies presentation @ the gazebo
    • 11:30am Guided plant walk and tour of the garden, meet @ the info booth
    • 1:30pm Hügelkultur presentation @ the hügelkultur demo site next to the Little Library, NW corner of the garden
    • 2pm Guided plant walk and tour of the garden, meet @ the info booth
    • Other activities include children’s activities, gardening/composting/recycling question answer booth, worm and yard waste composting demo, “What’s Under the Garden?” display, Great Plant Picks info and much more!
  • Dirt Works Demonstration Garden: (all timed activities meet at the gazebo)
    • 10am Guided tour of the garden
    • 11am Fruit Trees for Small Spaces Presentation
    • 1pm Guided tour of the garden
    • 2pm Square foot vegetable gardening demo
    • Other activities running throughout the event include children’s activities, sensory garden demo, yard and worm composting demo, raised bed vegetable demo and much more!
  • Olympia Farmers Market Gallacci Garden:
    • 11:30am Worm composting demonstration (meet at the worm composting box, NE corner of the garden)
    • 1pm Guided plant walk and tour of the garden (meet at the information booth in front of the solar panels at the SW corner of the garden)
    • Other activities running throughout the event include children’s scavenger hunt, gardening and composting question/answer booth.

Get your gardening, composting and recycling questions answered.

This event is FREE and happens rain or shine.


Click below to download or share the event flier.

Anniversary Garden Tour Flier 2019


In addition, please join us for the Opening Ceremony at Closed Loop Park where we will celebrate the growth of these unique gardens, as we look to the future by honoring their past.

 Saturday, July 13, 2019

10 a. m.

Closed Loop Park Demonstration Garden

2418 Hogum Bay Rd. NE, Olympia WA 98516

(Presentation will be at the blue gazebo. Service animals only, please.)

Parking is at the Hawks Prairie Park & Ride across the street. Use the crosswalk to enter the garden. Handicap parking is available in front of the garden.

For questions, please contact 360-867-2162 or email


Other Program Offerings:



“WSU Master Gardener Program of Thurston County”

Do You Have a Gardening Question?

Do you have a plant eaten-up by bugs or diseases? Maybe you have a plant or weed you cannot identify? Or, you have a spot in your garden and you need advice on what to plant? That’s where the WSU Master Gardener and Master Recycler Composter volunteers of Thurston County can help. Come visit one of our Gardens or Clinics for the answers.

Gardening/Composting/Recycling Question/Answer Clinic –

Located inside the WSU Thurston County Extension office
3054 Carpenter Rd. SE
Benoscheck Building
Olympia, WA 98503
Phone: (360) 867-2163

Our clinic schedule 

Volunteers are scheduled to staff our question/answer clinic during the current hours of operation:

  • March through May the clinic is open Tuesday AND Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • June through August we are open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00a.m. to 1:00p.m.
  • September through November the clinic is open Tuesday AND Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • December through February we are closed.
  • The Extension office is closed on Mondays year round.

When the clinic is operating you have three options for asking your question:

  • Email us anytime day or night.
  • Call us and speak to a certified volunteer during our office hours or leave a message and we’ll get back to you.
  • Visit us at our clinic located inside the WSU Extension office at the Thurston County Fairgrounds. We just ask that before showing up you call ahead to make sure a volunteer is there to assist you. Plant/insect samples may be dropped off anytime between 9am and 5pm Tuesday through Friday. Volunteers will process the samples during the next staffed shift. WSU Extension Parking Map Fairgrounds

The Gardens and Clinics are operated by WSU trained and certified volunteers. All services provided by Thurston County WSU Master Gardener and Master Recycler Composter volunteers are free to Thurston County residents. These volunteers can only provide information to home gardeners. Commercial farms and businesses need to contact Extension office for help, (360) 867-2162.





WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. Persons will disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information or reasonable accommodation need to contact Cori Carlton at 3054 Carpenter Rd. SE, Olympia WA 98503, 360-867-2162, at least two weeks prior to the beginning of training.