The Master Gardener Program in Pierce County started in 1997. Over 405 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 24 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2018. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Diana Alfuth.
Volunteer Service in 2017
|Youth Education||242 hours|
|Adult Education||310 hours|
Since 2000: 51,125 hours at a value of over $960,919
* 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
MGVs in Pierce Co.
- River Falls Farmers Market
- Pierce County Fair
- UW-Extension Demonstration Garden
- Grow to Share Community Garden
- River Falls area Rain Gardens
- Prescott Freedom Park
- River Falls White Pathway and Parks
- Ellsworth community projects
Teaching Kids About Plants Not to Eat or Touch
Each year MGVs partner with the UW-Extension Youth Development agent on Rural Safety Day. All 4th graders in the county come to the fairground and learn about 10-12 topics related to being safe. MGVs talk about “Perilous Plants”—plants that can be harmful either by being touched or eaten, such as wild parsnip, poison ivy, fruits and berries, thorns and more are covered. Over 450 kids—and their teachers and parent chaperons—are reached.
Educating Children on Gardening Topics
Twenty five kids aged 6-12 participated in the 5th annual Junior Garden U held at the UWEX Demonstration and Learning Garden in River Falls at the Grow to Share Community Garden. MGVs taught hands-on workshops about roots and plant vascular systems, hydroponic growing, wildlife in the garden (friend and foe), and how Native Americans gardened. Participants learned various ways to garden and were able to take home a “toad abode” and a hydroponic lettuce garden.
Demo Garden Shows How to Grow Plants
MGVs help the UWEX Horticulture Educator plan, plant and maintain the Demonstration and Learning Garden (a partnership with a local community garden) to educate local residents about gardening. This year’s themes were Heirloom Gardening, Native American Gardening, and Lettuce, with 24 diﬀerent varieties that garden visitors could taste test and see diﬀerent growth habits. Produce from the garden is donated to hunger prevention eﬀorts. The garden is used for small-group classes throughout the year, and signage allows visitors to learn via self-yours.