The Master Gardener Program in Barron County started in 1994. Over 205 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 46 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Ag/Hort/Natural Resources Agent Tim Jergenson.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||266 hours|
|Adult Education||392 hours|
Since 2000: 37,306 hours at a value of over $661,384
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.48 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.
Where you can find activities by MGVs in Barron Co.
- Rice Lake Farmers Market
- Barron Area Farmers Market
- Barron County Fair Grounds
- Pioneer Village Museum
- Benjamin’s House
- Barron Community Garden Park
- Spring Garden Expo
- Barron County MGA Plant Sale
New Barron Community Garden Created
With the help of MGVs, an unused grass fi eld was converted to a fenced-in, fully functional community garden with 20,400 square foot garden plots, a compost pile, picnic tables, weatherproof message board, two water tanks, and elements to attract honey bees, birds, and bats. This new space allows renters to grow fresh food for themselves or donation.
Pioneer Museum Gardens Enhanced
MGVs maintain three educational gardens at the Barron County Historical Society’s Pioneer Village Museum, working with students from area schools to plant and clean up the gardens. In addition, MGVs are available during the annual Heritage Days to talk about the gardens and answer gardening questions. This year MGVs helped purchase the remaining plants in the 1,000 square foot rain garden that serves as a drainage area for four large buildings and a blacktop roadway. A weather-resistant information book describes the development and function of the rain garden, and describes each plant in the garden. The annual vegetable garden next to one of the log cabins was a “Three Sisters” garden featuring beans, corn, and squash, with information signs on compatible plants. In the Nostalgia Garden, next to the Old Toy Shoppe, there are heirloom peonies, rhubarb, golden glow, marigolds, and zinnias.
School Sunflower Project Engages Students
Every spring, MGVs distribute sunflower seeds to area elementary 3rd graders in six school districts in the county to plant. The project supports student interest in plant life and develops gardening skills. In the fall, MGVs return to the schools to measures the sunflowers and awards prizes to the winners.