Range Master Gardeners

ironThe Range Master Gardener Volunteer Association (RMGVA) is comprised of Wisconsin and Michigan MGVs from Iron County, Wisconsin and Gogebic County, Michigan. Because the MG Program is no longer supported by Michigan State University Extension, MGVs from Michigan are now reporting their hours in Wisconsin. There were 16 WIMGA members in 2014, with 10 certified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 15 hours in youth education
36 hours in community education
440 hours in support service
and participated in 194 hours in continuing education

We are a small group, but we are quite active in our community. We maintain our own website at rangemastergardenervolunteers1.shutterfly.com.

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. RMGVs, in association with other partners, offered educational opportunities including hosting a Raspberry and Blackberry webinar in February for 22 gardeners; a “Lyme Disease Awareness” class that 37 people attended in March; and presentations in May on Smart Vegetable Gardening in Containers, Smart Vegetable Gardening with Season Extenders, and Smart Perennials by Rebecca Krans, Consumer Hort Extension Educator for Michigan State Univ., that 35 gardeners attended.
  2. Each year we have “Master Gardener Day” at local garden centers to answer customer’s gardening questions. At one of 2 days this year, two MGVs assisted customers while three MGVs helped children plant ‘Sweet 100’ cherry tomato plants. Each parent was given instructions on how to care and plant the tomato plant in the ground or in a pot.
  3. RMGVs teamed up with the 46th Parallel Planters Garden Club to host a “Secret” Garden Tour on July 17. There were six gardens, with refreshments provided at the last stop – the gardens of RMGVs Dan and Lynn Adams. Instead of charging an entrance fee, two non-perishable food or household products were requested, all of which were given to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. About 160 people attended and fifteen banana boxes were filled with donations. MGVs answered questions and promoted the upcoming MG training class.
  4. Several RMGVs maintain Norrie Park Community Garden, which was started in 2000. Four times this year, we got assistance from a Gogebic County Corrections Crew. In the spring they helped till the area and get rid of weeds. At the end of July, the crew cut down two huge truckloads of common buckthorn from around the perimeter, so we could use brush killer around the garden. They also helped us reclaim lost garden space by digging out sod and weeds that have started to encroach into the garden. Each time we have baked goods, lemonade and pizza.

Highlighted Project: Northern Native Plants Program

The RMGVA, 46th Parallel Planters Garden Club, Gogebic Co. Conservation, UW-Extension Iron Co. and Iron Co. Conservation hosted a three hour seminar on September 27 with Becky Brown, a native plant specialist, of Wildflower Woods in Washburn, WI who gave a presentation on northern native plants and plant communities. She had a hands-on demo of plant propagation techniques and plenty of time for questions. Ms. Brown also brought native plant seeds that participants could take home for their own gardens. Jim Finley, the Administrator of Gogebic Co. Conservation, explained their eradication efforts of garlic mustard and buckthorn. MGVs had a presentation on Deer Resistant Plants. Over 60 people attended, and requested donations (instead of a registration fee) of non- perishable foods items or household products were given to the Iron County Food Pantry.