The Master Gardener Program in Eau Claire Co. started in 1984. Over 538 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 36 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2018. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Erin LaFaive.
Volunteer Service in 2017
|Youth Education||306 hours|
|Adult Education||695 hours|
Since 2000: 59,661 hours at a value of over $1,110,680
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $23.06 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.
Where you can find activities by MGVs
• Beaver Creek Reserve Native Plant Sale
• Schlegelmilch Historic House Gardens
• Lakeshore Elementary School Garden
• Ask a MGV Booth, EC Farmers’ Market
• Youth Gardens
• Eau Claire MGV Newsletter
• Eau Claire MGV Garden Seminar
• Eau Claire County Fair
• Eau Claire Area MGA Plant Sale
Ready, Set, Grow Inspires Gardeners
Over 150 people had an opportunity to learn about various aspects of gardening at the Ready, Set, Grow MGV Garden Seminar held in Eau Claire in late January. The keynote address focused on heirloom plants, and three breakout sessions oﬀered a choice of nine topics ranging from roses to water features and wildflowers to vegetables. This annual event not only provides horticulture information, but increases interest in gardening and expands public awareness of UW-Extension and the Master Gardener Program.
Demonstrating Gardening Methods
The teaching gardens, planted and maintained by MGVs at the UW-Extension oﬃce in Altoona, provides the public with examples of gardening methods such as sub-irrigated containers and mulching layering technique, as well as a convenient location for teaching and demonstrating gardening methods. Over 50 people were educated in 25 sessions or in individual tours with people looking for horticulture-related information. Many others took self-guided tours outside of business hours and when people were walking by.
Answering Gardening Questions
MGVs answered gardening questions at the Eau Claire County Fair in late July. With a table situated at the entrance to the Expo Center where all 4-H members display their projects, there was a constant stream of people stopping to get information on Japanese beetles (as they were more numerous than in past years), identification of invasive plants, tomato and other vegetable diseases, and powdery mildew.