The Master Gardener Program in Walworth County started in 1999. Over 404 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 77 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Chrissy Wen.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||309 hours|
|Adult Education||620 hours|
Since 2000: 50,793 hours at a value of over $980,670
* 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
- Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy
- Lake Geneva Farmers Market
- White River County Park
- Walworth County Government Center
- Genoa City Library
- Walworth County Fair
- Darien Elementary School
- Open Arms Free Clinic
Just for Kids Teaches Gardening to Children
MGV Susan Hughes partnered with the Just for Kids summer day care program to provide youth ranging in age from 7 to 11 years old the opportunity to engage in growing food from seed and connecting with natural resource conservation. The group met for 1.5 hours a week and participated in 12 weekly lessons that were adapted from the Junior Master Gardener Program Handbook and jmgkids.us online resources. Between 9-13 youth participated weekly.
Garden Walk Supports Local Scholarships
Nearly 400 individuals participated in the biennial Garden Walk. The event raised $5,807 that will be used toward a sustained scholarship fund for Walworth County students pursuing an education in horticulture, agriculture, or natural resources. The Walworth County Master Gardener Volunteer Association provides two $1,000 annual scholarships.
Bee Hotel Project Helps Threatened Species
Bee hotels are man-made structures that provide nesting habitat for native solitary bees that are threatened because of habitat loss. The project engaged 16 classrooms and multiple individuals who signed up to build bee hotels, including over 200 youth and 25 adult learners. A team of UW- Extension staﬀ and MGVs mentored classrooms and provided hands-on lessons about pollinators. The hotels were featured on Pollinator Lane, an area at the 2016 Farm Technology Days held in Walworth County that highlighted pollinator friendly native plants and the impact of horticulture in Wisconsin. Hundreds of people visited this area and connected with MGVs over three days. Many of the hotels can now be seen at local county parks.