Master Gardener Program in Fond du Lac County

The Master Gardener Program in Fond du Lac County started in 1992. Over 419 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 53 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2018. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is the new Crops & Soils Area Agent Dr. Loretta Ortiz- Ribbing.


Volunteer Service in 2017

Youth Education 402 hours
Adult Education 452 hours
Support 3,897 hours
Total 4,751 hours

Since 2000: 73,935 hours at a value of over $1,391,433


* 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.

mg-footer-logoWhere you can find activities by MGVs

• Lamartine Veterans Memorial Garden
• Fond du Lac Community Gardens
• Fond du Lac Public Library
• FdL Lutheran Home and Health Services
• Parkside Elementary School Garden
• St. Mary’s Springs Academy
• Rosenow Elementary School Garden
• Riverside Elementary School Garden

Educating over the Airwaves

MGVs participate in Landscape Smart, an hour-long Saturday morning Fond du Lac radio program. The show, sponsored by Rademann Stone & Landscape, answers horticulture questions called in by listeners. Responses are provided by a panel made up of Ron Rademann and two (of eight) MGVs. The program also provides opportunities to publicize other MG events and activities.

Herb Gardens in the School

At Riverside School, MGVs planted herbs and took some plants in to the third grade classes so 60 children could touch, smell, see and taste the herbs including rosemary, parsley, dill, cilantro, sage and basil. MGVs talked about what some of the herbs are used for. Micro greens were also planted, so the student would see their seeds growing since herbs take a while to mature.

School Vegetable Gardens Educate Children

MGVs conducted programs on growing vegetables at three elementary schools, reaching over 1,100 children in grades K-6. With a focus on the value of pollinators, MGVs did a class on bees, using costumes and props, and started planting vegetable seeds in March. The vegetables were planted in the garden in late May with a rainbow of color in different vegetables from blue potatoes, purple peppers, yellow tomatoes, purple kale, etc. The children placed colored sticks by the color vegetable they were planting. There was also a game on pollination so the children could learn which vegetables are pollinated by wind, bees, butterflies and those that do not need pollination.

FDL Helping at schools