The Master Gardener Program in Eau Claire Co. started in 1984. Over 538 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 44 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Erin LaFaive.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||180 hours|
|Adult Education||652 hours|
Since 2000: 56,585 hours at a value of over $1,029,748
* 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
- Beaver Creek Reserve Native Plant Sale
- Schlegelmilch Historic House Gardens
- Lakeshore Elementary School Garden
- Ask a MGV Booth, EC Farmers’ Market
- Youth Gardens
- Eau Claire MGV Newsletter
- Eau Claire MGV Garden Seminar
Demonstrating Gardening Methods
The teaching gardens, planted and maintained by MGVs at the UW-Extension oﬃce in Altoona, provides the public with examples of gardening methods such as sub-irrigated containers and mulching layering technique, as well as a convenient location for teaching and demonstrating gardening methods. This year a Teens Garden Program was implemented in partnership with The Boys and Girls Club. Over 50 people were educated in 25 sessions or in individual tours with people looking for horticulture-related information. Countless self- guided tours take place outside of business hours and when people are walking by.
Master Gardener Plant Sale Grows
In 2016 MGVs partnered with the Hosta Society to hold their plant sale in June at the Farmers’ Market pavilion. Sales nearly tripled as the new location downtown brought in many more customers. MGVs were on hand to answer questions and provide quick education to customers. The money raised helps provide scholarships and support MGV projects in the community.
Education Programs for All
Once a month all MGVs and the public are invited to presentations on garden-related topics, with an average of 30 attendees per month. Examples of some of the sessions include Food Preservation, Permaculture, and Cover Crops. Eleven sessions provided current information from experts in their field and materials that people could take home. Over 200 people had an opportunity to learn about various aspects of gardening at the Ready, Set, Grow MGV Garden Seminar held in Eau Claire in February.