The Master Gardener Program in Rock County started in 1985. Over 360 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 Horticulture Educator Christy Marsden.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||461 hours|
|Adult Education||361 hours|
Since 2000: 76,952 hours at a value of over $1,402,325
* 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
- Edgerton Hospital Healing Garden
- Welty Environmental Center in Beloit
- Farm Tech Days
- Community Sharing Gardens
- Boy Scouts
- Rotary Botanical Gardens
- Rock County Parks
Encouraging Neighbors to Grow, Eat Vegetables
MGVs contributed to Community Sharing Gardens with Community Action Inc. in Beloit, a project to provide a safe, open gardening space for neighbors to harvest and enjoy locally grown vegetables. MGVs assisted by organizing and directing volunteer groups, providing community outreach, and guiding garden maintenance to help provide fresh produce to neighbors and surrounding community members.
Keeping Rotary Botanical Gardens Vibrant
As one of the main tourist draws to Janesville, garden maintenance goes a long way towards keeping the prestige of the Rotary Botanical Gardens high. MGVs not only work in the garden beds, but also assist with all areas of education. MGVs serve on committees, help organize programs and events, and provide educational expertise and teaching experience. From the annual pumpkin program to summer field trips, MGVs bring learning out into the garden with everyone from the smallest of gardeners to those with decades of experience.
RECAP Helps Inmates Learn and Succeed
Several MGVs participate in the Rock County Education Criminal Addiction Program, RECAP. Every year, this program donates thousands of pounds of produce to local food pantries, community centers, and senior living facilities. With a fresh-market and CSA component, program participants learn how to grow for markets and for the benefit of surrounding communities. MGVs teach inmates about garden practices and guide planting, maintenance, and harvest of the vegetables, with many participants learning new skills to make them more employable and better citizens upon release.