The Master Gardener Program in Pierce County started in 1997. Over 401 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 34 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Diana Alfuth.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||147 hours|
|Adult Education||408 hours|
Since 2000: 47,722 hours at a value of over $882,440
* 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
- Pierce County Fair
- River Falls Farmers Market
- UWEX Demo and Learning Garden
- River Falls Grow to Share Garden
- Plum City Schools
- Ellsworth Community Ed
- Elmwood Village and Schools
- Kinnikinnic River Area
Producing and Teaching About Vegetables
The UW-Extension Demonstration and Learning Garden located in River Falls is used to produce food for donation and as an educational tool to teach local residents how to successfully grow their own food. MGVs plan, plant and maintain the garden which hosts several events throughout the growing season. Horticulture Educator Diana Alfuth uses the garden to teach vegetable growing classes for adults and children. This year it included a Presidential Garden (election year), where visitors could learn how gardens diﬀered during Washington’s, Lincoln’s, and Obama’s presidencies, and a Lettuce Checkerboard, with 24 varieties of lettuce, each with diﬀerent colors and leaf textures, planted in a checkerboard pattern to show how many options there are. Visitors were able to taste test the diﬀerent varieties to see which they liked best, as well as learn how easy it is to grow lettuce at home. Over 450 pounds of produce grown in the garden was donated to food pantries and other organizations.
Educating on Gardening In Our Communities
MGVs staﬀed booths at both the St. Croix and Pierce County fairs, where they provide youth and adult education opportunities and activities. This year’s main theme at the fairs was invasive species, along with smaller educational displays about growing tomatoes, and current pests such as Japanese Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer. MGVs also staﬀ educational booths at local farmers markets and other events.
Enhancing Local Organizations
MGVs awarded grants up to $250 to organizations in many of the small towns in the counties. See the St. Croix County report for more details.