Manitowoc County Master Gardeners

The Manitowoc Co. MGA had 42 members in 2014, with 28 recertified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 46 hours in youth education
205 hours in community education
1,412 hours in support service
and participated in 681 hours in continuing education

The Manitowoc Co. MGA meets every 4th Monday from February thru December. We elect Board members at our annual meeting in April. This year we had a guest speaker, Rob Zimmer speak on Hostas, at our annual dinner. We meet at the extension office from September through May with guest speakers at each meeting. This year one of our special projects was to have guest speakers at 2 of our meetings that we opened up to the public. In the summer we meet at MGV’s gardens or garden centers.

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. A plant clinic is held at the UW-Extension office from April through October for two hours on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. MGVs are there to answer homeowner questions, and send soil samples to the UW Soil Testing Laboratory if needed. Voice mail is used to hold calls until a MGV arrives in the office. Walk-ins are welcome. Tree problems are the most common issues.
  2. MGVs maintain healing gardens at two area hospitals. MGVs also work in gardens at area churches.
  3. We have a member who is very well versed in invasive species and provides education about invasive species as well as doing eradication work in a lot of public areas.
  4. We work with our local Lincoln Park Zoo in their gardens and the Woodland Dunes Nature Center butterfly garden. There are also MGVs who help maintain gardens on our maritime trail along Lake Michigan that connects Manitowoc and Two Rivers.
  5. MGVs participate in many diverse activities such as staffing a booth at a Earth Day event; plant judging at the county fair; teaching a gardening class at the library; working with the Manitou Girls Scouts; and working on a school garden at the high school in Two Rivers.
  6. We have been planning two public events for 2015. Our 2015 Garden Walk will incorporate education for the community by having signs at the gardens educating them about different things and information on our website that they can refer back to. The Continuing Education director for UW-Manitowoc asked for our assistance in offering a Garden Expo for the first time at the local UW campus, modeled after the same event put on by WI Public TV in Madison annually. We are partnering with UW-Manitowoc to bring in speakers and vendors for this new community event.

Highlighted Project: Urban Green Gang

Five years ago, a group of involved community members, including MGVs, partnered with the downtown mainstreet program (Mainly Manitowoc) to form the Urban Green Gang (UGG) to beautify downtown Manitowoc. At the time, the downtown businesses were not allowed to put anything out on their sidewalks so that was the first hurdle that the UGG had to overcome. With help from the mayor and city attorney, the UGG was able to get a “Sidewalk Variance” in order to put container gardens out along the downtown streets and businesses. The agreement included that the planters were uniform and maintained by volunteers coordinated by the UGG. Now after all this time, the city has changed their policy on sidewalk container gardens in the downtown and is allowing businesses to do their own container gardens, which usually is about 50 container gardens a season. This has allowed the UGG to focus on other areas of the downtown to beautify tree bays, large concrete planters that adorned one major intersection, and a large garden around the marquee sign that is close to the Farmers Market as you approach the 8th St. bridge. Two MGVs are the co-chairs of the Urban Green Gang.

Urban Green Gang promotional image

Urban Green Gang promotional image