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Sharon Ashworth has been working with K-State Research & Extension Douglas County since 2011; first as a volunteer with the Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners (EMG), then as the Horticulture Program Assistant (EMG Coordinator) starting in 2016, and now as the Horticulture and Natural Resources agent for Douglas County. Working for Extension is somewhat of a second career for her and her increasing commitment to Extension comes from the joy she gets from working with the Extension Master Gardeners and the community at large. Every day she gets to help people solve their horticultural conundrums or create something beautiful, whether it be concerned with a single potted plant or a prairie.
Her background is quite varied as she has worked for government agencies, non-profits, the private sector, and universities. The common thread in all her work has been land stewardship. Sharon received a BA in Environmental Studies from Smith College, a MS in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Kansas. Her work with Extension began when she left academia to write a book about wetland ecology (Wading Right In – Discovering the Nature of Wetlands, 2019) and discovered the Extension Master Gardener program.
“Working with Extension I get to apply and interpret scientific information in order to help people create beautiful, sustainable landscapes. I can help you diagnose a plant problem, recommend plants for your landscape, or advise you on caring for your rural acreage – from ponds to prairies.”