The Master Gardener Program in Eau Claire Co. started in 1984. Over 520 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 46 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Erin LaFaive.
Ready, Set, Grow Garden Seminar in Eau Claire
160 people had an opportunity to learn about various aspects of gardening at the February seminar. There is also a greater awareness of the MG Association and UW-Extension and what services are oﬀered. With 20 plus vendors present there is also a positive economic impact to gardening related businesses in the Chippewa Valley. Many participants report that they learn something new and appreciate a garden seminar in the winter months.
Ask a Master Gardener Booth
The public had access to 2-4 MGVs on a weekly basis at the Eau Claire Farmer’s Market to ask gardening questions. The booth provides both education and exposure to the MG Program to the public. 104 questions were recorded and 14 volunteers assisted throughout season.
Lakeshore Elementary School Garden
MGVs work with a first grade class to plant seeds and take care of seedlings in a lesson that corresponds with their science studies. In early June the students plant the seedlings in the school garden and learn about perennial plants in the flower beds. In the fall they come back and see what has happened with the garden and sample the produce. The participating families have an assigned week to care for the garden and harvest available produce to take home. The MGVs meet with the families and train them to care for the school garden. A schedule is set for when each family cares for the garden and harvests produce during the weeks assigned. 16 students are in the class and 8 families participate in the summer school garden.
Volunteer Service in 2015
|Youth education||73 hours|
|Adult education||349 hours|
|Support services||2290 hours|
Since 2000: 53,818 hours at a value of over $967,543
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.24 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.
Where you can find activities by MGVs in Eau Claire Co.
- Beaver Creek Reserve Native Plant Sale
- Schlegelmilch Historic House Gardens
- Lakeshore Elementary School Garden
- UWEX Demonstration Gardens
- North River Front Park & McDonough
- Park Youth Gardens
- Ask a MGV Booth at the Downtown Eau Claire Farmers’ Market
- Eau Claire MGV Garden Seminar