The Master Gardener Program in Rock County

The Master Gardener Program in Rock County started in 1985. Over 350 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 47 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Christy Marsden.

image: volunteers Improving Our Parks

This year MGVs began working with the Rock County Parks system to help maintain natural spaces, county parks, and historic grounds. From the Ice Age Trail to the heirloom gardens at Beckman Mill, MGVs assist in controlling invasive weeds, maintaining beautiful natural spaces, and creating educational historical gardens for the residents of Rock County to enjoy.

Enabling Gardeners

The Rock County MG program has a strong emphasis on therapeutic horticulture. Several MGVs work with seniors at specialized nursery care facilities to bring the joy of gardening to the residents. MGVs also work with disabled youth and adults in nursing home facilities through various programs in the garden and in-facility to positively impact lives through the power of gardening. Hands-on activities with disabled youth   improve life skills while reducing stress, and in-facility outreach improves the happiness of residents.

Giving Advice on Dealing with Emerald Ash Borer

In 2015, a   local   tree-advisory committee sent informational letters to all Janesville home-owners regarding the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation. The Rock Co. UWEX Office was listed as a resource for more information, and over the growing season specially trained MGVs (plant health advisers, or PHA) answered calls and worked with home owners regarding ash trees and EAB. In addition to answering questions about EAB, the PHA hosted informational booths at various public events through the year and assisted in solving many other horticultural problems for Rock County gardeners.

Volunteer Service in 2015

Youth education 378 hours
Adult education 302 hours
Support services 2041 hours
Total 2722 hours
Value* $60548

Since 2000: 74,344 hours at a value of over $1,343,610

* 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.

Copy of Master Gardener Symbol - Full Color

Where you can find activities by MGVs in Rock Co.

  • Rotary Botanical Gardens
  • Chestnut House
  • Edgerton Hospital Healing Gardens
  • River Street Rain Garden
  • Ice Age Trail
  • Rock Haven Nursing Home
  • Merrill Elementary School
  • The Gathering Place