Master Gardener Program in Manitowoc County

The Master Gardener Program in Manitowoc County started in 1994. Over 260 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 25 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2018. The UW-Extension Educator responsible for the MG Program is Dairy/Livestock Agent Scott Gunderson.


Volunteer Service in 2017

Youth Education 37 hours
Adult Education 115 hours
Support 1,104 hours
Total 1,256 hours

Since 2000: 43,939 hours at a value of over $779,055


* 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 in Manitowoc Co.

  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Woodland Dunes
  • Mariners Trail
  • Community Gardens
  • Plant Clinic
  • Garden Walk
  • Manitowoc County Fair
  • Downtown Manitowoc Planters

Mariners Trail Gardens

Mariners Trail is the 5.5 mile trail linking Manitowoc and Two Rivers along the Lake Michigan coastline. It was established about 10 years ago and today contains over 50 flower beds with a waiting list for more. The Mariners Trail is one of Lakeshore’s Jewels and tourists and locals enjoy the walk along the lake. MGVs help maintain these gardens along with other organizations throughout Manitowoc County which include St. Francis of Assissi and Service League.

Manitowoc Mariners Trail Gardens

Garden Talk/Garden Walk Educates the Public

MGVs have always held a Garden Walk every other year and new this coming year is that we are adding a Garden Talk seminar for the public. (One year, we Walk, the next year, we Talk) These events provide education experiences for resident to learn about plants and gardening. This year our bi-annual Garden Walk had the largest attendance that we have had in years after embracing social media to get the message to the community.

Master Gardener Training

This year MGVs collaborated with UW-Manitowoc Continuing Education to offer the Level 1 training which allowed access to professors to teach the classes (and it simplified the registration process going online). The training was similar to past years, with classroom lectures or field trips every two weeks. Of the 9 students registered, 8 completed the class; they really bonded as a group and are excited to get involved and get volunteering. Bill’s comment “It was one of the best things I have ever done in my life when it comes to advance learning” sums up how successful the program was.