Master Gardener Program in Vilas County 2016

The Master Gardener Program in Vilas County started in 2010. Over 130 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 14 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Summer Horticulturist/Nutrition Educator Mary Stys.


Volunteer Service in 2016

Youth Education 154 hours
Adult Education 187 hours
Support 426 hours
Total 767 hours

Since 2000: 12,961 hours at a value of over $237,266

* 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.

mg-footer-logoWhere you can find activities by MGVs

  • Northwoods Children’s Museum Garden
  • Northland Pines Schools
  • Eagle River Mainstreet planters
  • Eagle River Farmers Market
  • Land o’ Lakes Community Garden
  • Arbor Vitae Community Garden
  • MGV Monthly Garden Presentations
  • Olson Memorial Library Seed Library

Educating About Native Plants

The   Native Plant Demonstration project has developed slowly over the years as a collaborative effort of Northland Pines High School students and staff, Vilas County Conservation Staff, and MGVs to spread knowledge of using native plant species in landscaped garden designs. Students are being exposed to concepts of native plant gardening, planting techniques, garden design principles. Insects are using the plants as pollen sources and breeding habitat. MGVs sponsored a public presentation and tour of the Garden in September.

Garden Walk Benefits School Bee Project

Over 105 people visited seven private gardens in July at the Vilas Co. MGA Garden Walk to benefit the Northland Pines Middle School “Hive Alive! Sweet Science” Honeybee Project. $850 was donated to further education on the importance of bees to our food and plant pollination. In the fall the students extracted and bottled honey, giving away small jars of honey to community members who attended the open event.

Bicycle Planters Enliven Downtown

MGVs spray painted three adult and one child’s bikes to incorporate into the city landscaping to highlight our beautiful bike trails that pass through the downtown area. They were placed in the gardens at the old train Depot and at the Chamber of Commerce building to welcome visitors to our community. Wire baskets on the handle bars and over the back tires were lined with moss and planted with flowers that tied in with the bright pink and orange color scheme used in the city’s hanging baskets and pots this year.

image of a bicycle with flowers