The Master Gardener Program in La Crosse County started in 1995. Over 340 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 48 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension staﬀ member facilitating the MG Program is Vicky Kast, Oﬃce Supervisor.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||104 hours|
|Adult Education||167 hours|
Since 2000: 49,351 hours at a value of over $939,023
* 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
- Riverside International Friendship Garden
- Myrick-Hixon Ecopark
- Kane Street Gardens
- Spring into Gardening annual seminar
- YWCA Adaptive Garden
- Evergreen Garden Club, Holmen
- Earth Fair, Myrick Park
- Onalaska Public Library
Garden Feeds the Community
The Kane Street Community Garden, a two-acre garden in the heart of the northside of La Crosse operated by the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse, was started in 1998. MGVs have contributed every year since 2001 by planting, maintaining, and harvesting the garden. With over 25% of La Crosse residents below the poverty level, this garden helps feed the community: survey data showed that more than 600 individuals received produce from the garden. More than 31,500 pounds of fruits and vegetables were distributed at the garden and at meal sites and pantries in a five county area. New this year was a Biodiversity Demonstration Garden that includes numerous species native to the region to encourage gardeners to make more native plantings.
Plantings Demonstrate Benefits of Plants
Located at the edge of the La Crosse Marsh, Myrick Park Center is used by the public for educational programs, meetings, and other public activities. MGV projects here include a large rain garden, a pollinator garden and a landscaped walkway to educate about how these plants benefit the environment. This year MGVs worked in consultation with Prairie Enthusiasts to add forbs to a native grass area.
Gardening Conference Educates
More than 80 people attended the annual conference Spring Into Gardening, organized by MGVs. Participants learned about Growing a Midwest Garden and Landscaping with Unique Annuals with Edward Lyon, Director of Reiman Gardens, Ames, Iowa. Breakout sessions on Herbs, Oils and Healing; Children’s Gardening; and Edible Landscaping were well attended with positive feedback.