The River Valley Master Gardeners – Beautifying Miss Laura’s Visitor Center!

The River Valley Master Gardeners are an important part of Miss Laura’s charm!

 Known as “Miss Laura’s Social Club,” Fort Smith’s official Visitor Center is a 1903 Victorian house that was a former bordello; the first to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Master Gardeners do an amazing job of cultivating Miss Laura’s landscape. The volunteers make a trip to the Visitor Center at least once a month. Their eye for detail and horticultural knowledge yield beautiful flowers and shrubbery. At any time of the year, the historic house is surrounded by striking and inviting colors that help create a pleasant, uplifting and memorable experience for visitors.

Though their enchanting gardens look effortless, there is more to consider than a feast for the eyes. Year-round and seasonal beauty is a priority when choosing plants and a lot of thought goes into it. The Master Gardeners have to consider which native plants are most likely to thrive, climate and seasonal changes, and whether annuals or perennials (or both) will work best in their landscaping efforts.


 Volunteers who have earned the title of Master Gardener share a love for gardening and it shows at Miss Laura’s Visitor Center!


 And just who are the River Valley Master Gardeners?

The River Valley Master Gardeners is a volunteer organization that operates under the University of Arkansas – Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

In order to become an official Master Gardener, each volunteer receives 40 hours of intensive horticultural training. In turn, the Master Gardeners volunteer in their own communities, giving back 40 hours of work their first year and 20 hours in the following years.


 The River Valley Master Gardeners are always busy. You can find volunteers working on various community landscaping projects almost any day of the week! Just to name a few other places you might see a Master Gardener cultivating some garden magic: Fort Smith Convention Center, Creekmore Park, the Clayton House, Cisterna Plaza, Van Buren Public Library, area parks, and many other public buildings.


 Take some time and stop by The Learning Fields at Chaffee Crossing. A project of the River Valley Master Gardeners, The Learning Fields is an educational venue with demonstrations gardens, community events, research and experimentation…created to share the joy of gardening with everyone!

 Thank you River Valley Master Gardeners, for your time and dedication to making Fort Smith beautiful!!!

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2 thoughts on “The River Valley Master Gardeners – Beautifying Miss Laura’s Visitor Center!

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  1. I need someone to contact me abut speaking at the Fort Smith Retired Educators Association.

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