Master Gardener Program in Fond du Lac County

The Master Gardener Program in Fond du Lac County started in 1992. Over 419 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 67 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is the new Crops & Soils Area Agent Dr. Loretta Ortiz- Ribbing.


Volunteer Service in 2016

Youth Education 377 hours
Adult Education 526 hours
Support 4160 hours
Total 5064 hours

Since 2000:  69,185 hours at a value of over $1,281,887

* 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.

mg-footer-logoWhere you can find activities by MGVs

  • Rosenow School, Fond du Lac
  • Pier School, Fond du Lac
  • Free Spirit Riders Sensory Garden
  • Lamartine Veterans Memorial Garden
  • Waupun Community Gardens
  • UW-FdL Campus Gardens
  • Sisson’s Peony Gardens, Rosendale
  • Second Ward Memorial Bed

Garden Seminar Provides Valued Education

Our annual garden seminar A Day in the Garden provided a great opportunity for over 180 people to learn about container gardening, pruning and more with area experts, including MGV Patty Percy. Participants appreciated being exposed to a diversity of ideas, learning new and different ways to grow food, and reported gaining knowledge and confidence in gardening.

Garden Engages Students

A 2,300 ft2   “I-Spy” Garden at Pier Elementary School challenges students to discover items placed throughout the garden. Turtles, birds, ceramic tennis shoes and school supplies are hidden among the plants beckoning the students to explore. The theme is changed for each holiday and season, so there’s always something new to see and an opportunity to learn about plants and how they grow. There are bird feeders and a bird bath, and all the plants and trees are labeled — the courtyard serves as a sanctuary for students and staff.

Sensory Garden Stimulates

The Free Spirit Riders Sensory Therapy Garden is planted and maintained by our MGVs, providing a space where families and care givers can relax while the clients are in therapy. It includes a bird sanctuary, small pond for listening, as well as touch, taste and smell areas and a butterfly garden and vegetable area. This year the MGVs worked with inmates from Drug and Alcohol Corrections one day a week— usually a different group every week—teaching and working with them on all aspects of gardening as they generally know little about growing plants.

woman handing out papers