Juneau County Master Gardeners

The Juneau Co. MGA had 38 paid members, with 29 re-certified for 2015. Twenty one students took Level 1 training this spring.

In 2014 we volunteered 164 hours in youth education
90 hours in community education
995 hours in support service
and participated in 660 hours in continuing education

Juneau County remains a rural county with our largest city, Mauston, having a current population of 4,456. We experienced a loss of two members this past year, and although we made a concerted effort to encourage and mentor individuals who took the training class, none of those individuals have become members of our association yet (some because they did not live in our area and will be volunteering in other counties).

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. This year at Grayside Community Garden we offered gardeners the opportunity to have a mentor if they wished. Four families asked for help, and it worked well for some, but others had problems getting together in a timely manner. This activity will be improved for next summer.
  2. Several MGVs actively participate in a program at the grade school in Elroy. A grant to the Royal School system to promote healthy living has supported gardening classes for children in K-4 grades for the past several years. This year there were 75 children enrolled in the program. They started with planning meetings, planted their seeds in the spring, tended the garden through the summer (with the help of their parents) and harvested their crops in the fall. The food they grew was prepared and served so they could taste what they grew. Garden clean-up and composting were also covered. Other classes were held on above the ground crops, root crops, and worms.
  3. We continue our involvement with the historic Boorman House in Mauston, with many gardens planned and managed by our group. The house is on a main street and gets attention year round with visitors and those who drive along the street.
  4. Juneau County has two fairs each year, a June fair in Elroy and then the county fair in August. MGVs work actively with each fair staffing the intake of items to be judged in the gardening categories, assisting judges, and supporting the cost of ribbons for the champions. Although we do not judge fair submissions in our own county, MGVs do travel to other counties to serve as judges.

Highlighted Project: Garden Assistance for the Elderly

Our elderly population called us for help this summer a number of times. One gentleman called for assistance after the death of his wife this past winter. When it came to the gardens in his yard, he knew nothing and asked for help identifying his plantings and deciding what to keep. We were able to enlist a young 4-H member to help with the project, along with some of our newer class members. Another couple found themselves behind in their gardens because one of them had been nursing home bound on several occasions. Again, with the help of many members and a Girl Scout, we ascended upon their home, cleaned up gardens, pulled weeds, trimmed shrubs, and filled planters with colorful plants. On another occasion, a former MG was recovering from back surgery, and was pleasantly surprised when a work crew descended on her yard. On all of these occasions, it was a pleasure to work together as a group to help those in need.