The Master Gardener Program in Racine County started in 1994. Over 335 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 117 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Patti Nagai.
Teaching Children About Plants
“Botany in the Classroom” has been an ongoing MGV project for 20 years, and currently utilizes the skills and expertise of 33 MGVs at 15 elementary schools over the course of each school year. Each year between 2500 and 4000 students are taught the basics of plant science and gardening through creative use of seed viewers, terrariums, ‘bunny planters’, and special Earth Day activities, including outdoor garden starting at some locations.
Plant Health Advisors Are Dedicated to Learning and Sharing
The Horticulture Helpline and outreach activities related to diagnostics have been in place in Racine since 1999. The MGVs who dedicate themselves to extra training, continuous learning, and to a regular schedule throughout the year answering questions are essential to the UW-Extension Horticulture Educator. Thirteen MGVs volunteered 1099 hours in two Racine phone/oﬃce locations answering consumer horticulture questions.
Horticulture Therapy with Wisconsin Veterans
Green Works — a therapeutic horticulture program whose purpose is to educate, train, and assist in integrated employment support for adults with disabilities—expanded to the Wisconsin Veterans’ Home residents in 2015. Twelve enthusiastically engaged veterans, along with numerous staﬀ and caregivers, were led by Horticulture Coordinator and MGV Meryl Strichartz in unique greenhouse, garden, and indoor plant and sensory related activities. “The gardens have motivated members and their families to venture outside… Just like home… A place that we are striving to be!” said the Activity Director.
Volunteer Service in 2015
|Youth education||612 hours|
|Adult education||1194 hours|
Since 2000: 69,766 hours at a value of over $1,267,725
* 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 Racine Co.
- Racine County Food Bank
- Lakeside Curative Services
- Racine Literacy Council
- Village of Sturtevant
- Wind Point Lighthouse
- Burlington Pioneer Cabin
- Gardens of De Koven Center
- WI Veterans Home Union Grove