Rock Prairie Master Gardeners

The Rock Prairie MGA (Rock County) had 64 members, with 52 certified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 660 hours in youth education
454 hours in community education
2,524 hours in support service
and participated in 1,057 hours in continuing education

The Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association continues to evolve as the needs of the organization and members change. Without MGV leadership, the group stopped meeting in 2013 and was no longer functioning to support local MGVs. Late in 2013, the association was temporarily folded by the UW-Extension Horticulture Educator, but MGVs continued to participate in many educational activities as usual. Towards the end of 2014, several MGVs stepped forward to re-think leadership efforts in the association in an effort to bring it back. Hopefully, 2015 will see successful re-establishment of a sustainable association.

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. Over the past year, considerable work went into the installation and creation of the Edgerton Hospital Healing Gardens. These gardens have the potential to provide a therapeutic and calming experience for both visitors and hospital patients. With the dedication of the healing garden, guest speakers highlighted the importance of therapeutic gardens while the gardens were offered to community members for use by everyone.
  2. MGVs participated in the Rock County Sheriff’s RECAP rehabilitation program for local jail inmates. The RECAP program oversees a small CSA farm and market stand, with all produce and proceeds donated to local food pantries. MGVs have been integral in helping the farm succeed and function, and volunteers have enjoyed the ability to share their gardening knowledge and passion with individuals within the program.
  3. MGVs work in many capacities at the Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville. They not only assist in keeping the gardens beautiful, but help develop educational programs and serve on committees that make the gardens more accessible and educational. This year, MGVs led several educational children’s programs, from pumpkins in the fall to story and garden walks in the summer and spring.
  4. Through the Rotary Botanical Gardens, several MGVs have worked with individuals in the Chestnut House program in Janesville. This program teaches skills to developmentally disabled young adults in an effort to help them transition from high school into adulthood. At the Rotary Botanical Gardens, MGVs taught program participants about gardening and helped them lead and work on individual projects.

Highlighted Project: Plant Diagnostics

Over the growing season, several MGVs served as Plant Health Advisors while many more answered a variety of plant questions from members of the community. From regular newspaper columns to answering questions at the UW-Extension office, these MGVs provided science-based information on a multitude of topics important to the Rock County community. These tireless volunteers spent hours discussing gardening problems and solutions with community members, did in-depth research to find the best solution, and happily welcomed any and all questions at local gardening events. Because of the growing problems associated with the invasive emerald ash borer, MGVs have received an influx of questions regarding the pest and potential solutions to the problem. These volunteers provide valuable and factual information not being offered elsewhere about what can be done to save local ash trees, or suggestions for alternative tree species for residents looking to replant infested trees.