The Master Gardener Program in Iron County started in 1999. Over 75 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 11 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2018. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Darrin Kimbler.
Volunteer Service in 2017
|Youth Education||148 hours|
|Adult Education||107 hours|
Since 2000: 10,587 hours at a value of over $194,077
* 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
- Hurley School Garden
- Iron County Farmers Market
- Western Gateway Trail
- Iron County Fair
- Montreal Memorial Park
- Norrie Park Community Garden
- Ironwood Pocket Park
- Wakefield Community Garden
Promoting Horticultural Therapy
MGVs with Iron County Extension hosted a three day Horticulture Therapy Summit in March. The event brought caregivers from around northern WI and the U.P. of Michigan together to work on strategies to incorporate horticulture therapy principles into their programs. Horticulture therapists and garden design specialists provided presentations on therapeutic garden design, adaptive tools and gardening with veterans, children and those with cognitive conditions. The final day of the summit had participants planning projects, which they could implement into their own practices.
Increasing Pollinator Awareness
A MGV who also is a beekeeper gave several pollinator presentations at schools, farmers markets and garden clubs over the summer. With an observation hive as a focal point, the presentations highlighted pollinator garden design, habitat conservation, challenges and rewards of bee keeping in cold environments and pesticide strategies to minimize pollinator loss. Audiences ranged from kindergarten students to farmers and aspiring beekeepers.
Community Garden Created
MGVs collaborated with a design team from Michigan Tech. University to create and construct a community garden in the city of Wakefield, MI. The design of the garden garnered a first place award in a statewide design competition. The organizers of the competition were so impressed with the project that they provided a first ever grant for the implementation of the first phase of the garden. This summer MGVs and other city volunteers built the first beds on this valuable community resource.