The Master Gardener Program in Iron County started in 1999. Over 75 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 9 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Assistant Darrin Kimbler.
Promoting the Benefits of Nature
In September MGVs sponsored a Building Healthy Communities through Nature program led by Horticultural Therapist Esther Gieschen, from the University of Wisconsin – Superior, Continuing Education, who explained the beneficial connections between humans and nature, as well as some of the scientific research that has been done in the past half-century verifying the observed benefits. Thirty members of the public participated in a hands-on workshop with lively discussion.
Teaching Kids about Container Gardening
MGVs instructed Hurley School 3rd graders in container gardening. During this program, co- sponsored with the Hurley K-12 School, the Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce, and UW-Extension, local students were guided in planting 64 flower barrels which were placed along Silver Street, Hurley’s main thoroughfare. This provided positive interactions between the kids and local oﬃcials, such as the Mayor, Hurley Chief of Police and Sheriﬀ, who volunteered to assist the children.
Downtown Park Enhances Community
MGVs maintain the Downtown Pocket Park in Ironwood, MI. The park provides an inviting downtown location for people to use on their lunch breaks or tired shoppers to have a place to sit and enjoy the flowers and birds. Many wedding parties use the park for photographic sessions. Volunteers plant, weed and feed the varied plantings that make for a full season of blooms.
Volunteer Service in 2015
|Youth education||35 hours|
|Adult education||29 hours|
|Support services||388 hours|
Since 2000: 8,929 hours at a value of over $156,327
* 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 Iron Co.
- Silver Street Flower Barrels
- Montreal Memorial Plantings
- Iron County Farmers Market
- Hurley School Garden
- Iron County Community Garden
- Ironwood, MI Pocket Park
- Norrie Park Community Garden
- Range Garden Talk of WJMS Radio