The Master Gardener Program in Wood County started in 1997. Over 425 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 75 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Teri Lessig.
MGVs Educate Gardeners
MGVs have over 30 projects at public gardens throughout the county and surrounding areas. As volunteers work at these locations they often are asked questions by passers-by and many actually advertise that people can come ask garden related questions when they are there. As a pilot for
2015, three of the projects tracked the number of people they had contact with and the general topic. Combined, they reported 166 adult contacts and
107 youth. There were 22 designed presentations done in these gardens and many random questions.
MGVs Reach Out to Future Gardeners
MGVs partnered with the Lester Public Library to educate local youth by engaging them in various projects including garden stone art, building a simple path, taste testing farm to table foods, growing their own plants, and seed saving. Youth and their parents learned about tasty foods, that monarch butterflies need their help, that they can recycle used items into art, how to save money by growing own plants, and the path building project taught about design, planning and working together to do a project.
Gardening Has No Age Limit
MGVs organizing a Garden Club for the senior gardeners at the Lowell Senior Center located in the Centralia Center in downtown Wisconsin Rapids. Members assist with gardening as they can, enjoy fun and educational garden-related activities and reap the benefits of the MGV garden by being able to take home some garden produce with recipes provided.
Volunteer Service in 2015
|Youth Education||185 hours|
|Adult Education||282 hours|
Since 2000: 98,136 hours at a value of over $1,756,288
* 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 Wood Co.
- Q&A at UW-Extension
- Spring & Fall Garden Seminars
- Educ. Youth Center at Wis.Rapids Zoo
- Annual Garden Walk
- Spring/Fall Plant Sales
- Children’s Festival
- Marshfield Fair
- Lester Libraries