The Master Gardener Program in Sauk County started in 2003. Over 280 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 37 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Phyllis Both.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||193 hours|
|Adult Education||239 hours|
Since 2000: 37,189 hours at a value of over $705,180
* 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
- Reedsburg Area Hist. Society
- Circus World Museum
- Kids Ranch
- Mid-Continent Railway Museum
- Weber Park, Baraboo
- Reedsburg Community Garden
- Prairie du Sac Community Garden
- Boys & Girls Club garden, Baraboo
Gettng People to Grow Tomatoes
A major focus this year was “Terrifc Tomatoes”, several projects centered around helping people to learn about and grow their own tomatoes. MGVs partnered with the Baraboo Public Library to conduct a Growing Terrific Tomatoes in Wisconsin class for 40 people. MGVs grew tomato plants from seed to sell, as well as making 5 foot high tomatoes cages from concrete-rebar for a fund raiser. There was a 20’ by 20’ Terrific Tomatoes Test Garden on the MATC – Reedsburg campus with 29 tomato plants that were used in a Tomato Tasting Event later in the summer. About 44 people attended the tasting which included a sampling of recipes using tomatoes, tomato-related door prizes, and a coupon for a tomato plant in 2017.
Helping Threatened Butterflies and Pollinators
MGVs started a Monarch Trail at the Reedsburg Historical Society and joined the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge last year to help preserve the habitat for butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators. Ten bat houses were erected along with bird houses, native bee habitats and a 2-acre butterfly garden. The society donated 300 milkweed seedlings and $200 worth of prairie plants this spring to add to the area.
Teaching Children about Growing Plants
The Kids Ranch in Rock Springs provides care and programs for at-risk children. MGVs started a vegetable garden and a raspberry garden and have also incorporated growing flowers. A story hour related to garden critters, plants and soils is provided to help children learn about how plants grow and where food comes from.