The Master Gardener Program in Marathon County started in 1995. Over 345 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 54 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Dairy Agent, MGV Advisor and Home Horticulture Advisor Heather Schlesser.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||38 hours|
|Adult Education||750 hours|
Since 2000: 71,101 hours at a value of over $1,297,928
* 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
- Rib Mtn State Park Wildflower Project
- Monk Botanical Garden
- Yawkey House Museum
- Woodson History Center
- Weston Farmers Market
- YMCA, Wausau and Weston
- Habitat Garden at UW-Extension
- Rothschild Village Hall Garden
Vegetable Awareness at the County Fair
Our Veggie Riddles—originally developed for Bud’s‘n Sprouts for the Havenwood State Park project— were the highlight of our Wisconsin Valley Fair booth. Brightly colored paper daisies on each of nine small doors on a standing 4×6 foot panel attracted attention. The center of each daisy held a riddle describing a vegetable. The six inch doors could be opened to reveal pictures of the correct vegetable behind the doors to engage children, teens and adults in learning about vegetables.
Providing Valued Education
MG meetings are an opportunity for socializing and education, and our programs are very popular with the gardening residents of Marathon County and beyond. Nine education programs open to the public, held before our general meetings, were attended by 188 MGVs and 77 non-MGVs. Our annual Garden Visions Conference with multiple speakers attracted 360 participants.
Letting Everyone Know Who We Are
We want our community to know who we are by advertising with our Master Gardener logo and Extension logo. When MGVs are working on a public project, our project chairs set up a large 24” X 18” sign that reads, “Master Gardeners at Work”, with large color images of both our logo and Extension’s. Our signs let observers know who maintains the gardens at public museums, our history center, and Rib Mountain State Park—and also that we are available to answer their gardening questions at our local farmers markets or at the County Fair.