The Master Gardener Program in Pierce County started in 1997. Over 145 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 44 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Diana Alfuth.
Demo and Learning Garden Produces
This was the fourth year that MGVs planned, planted, maintained and assisted in harvesting the UWEX Demonstration and Learning Garden. This year’s plantings included a variety of types of cherry tomatoes, an edible flower garden and a Hispanic theme garden. Over 300 pounds of produce from the garden was provided to Grow to Share hunger prevention eﬀorts and a variety of other community organizations. The garden is the site for Junior Garden U and various other gardening workshops held through UWEX. Beginning and experienced gardeners learn from classes and demonstrations located at the garden.
Kids learn at Junior Garden U
This was the third year that MGVs provided a half- day educational program to children between the ages of 5 to 12. The 20 children learned about insects, soils/composting and plants/propagation. An unexpected guest was a small garter snake that slithered out during the soil/compost hands-on activity. MGVs developed the format of the three training sessions and the hands-on activities that accompanied each session.
Local Gardening Projects Enhanced Through Community Grant Program
Each year, Pierce and St. Croix County MGVs award grants of up to $250 each to assist a variety of individuals and organizations in their work in civic and community gardens, area food projects, beautification, environmental stewardship and education. Funds from the annual plant sale are used to fund the grants. This year $4,225 was provided to 19 separate projects.
Volunteer Service in 2015
|Youth education||178 hours|
|Adult education||444 hours|
|Support services||2882 hours|
Since 2000: 44,002 hours at a value of over $798,814
* 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 Pierce Co.
- River Falls Farmers Market
- Pierce County Fair
- UWEX Demo and Learning Garden
- Elmwood Community Garden
- Ellsworth School Garden
- River Falls Grow to Share Garden
- Plum City Schools
- SCVMGA Monthly Educational Sessions