Master Gardener Program in Portage County 2017

The Master Gardener Program in Portage Co. started in 1991. Over 317 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 36 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2018. UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Ken Schroeder facilitates the MG Program in Portage Co.


Volunteer Service in 2017

Youth Education  255 hours
Adult Education 1279  hours
Support 1386  hours
Total  2920 hours

Since 2000: 66,025 hours at a value of over $1,203,312

* 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

MGVs in Portage Co.

  • UW-Stevens Point Schmeekle Reserve
  • Stevens Point YMCA Giving Garden
  • Rosholt Fair
  • Golden Sands Home and Garden Show
  • Portage County libraries
  • Stevens Point Farmers Market
  • Master Gardener Plant Sale
  • Aging and Disability Resource Center

Supporting YMCA Giving Gardens

MGVs worked in cooperation with the YMCA to plant, maintain, and harvest produce from 26 raised beds located at the YMCA. More than 800 pounds of produce was distributed to students, their families and elderly and disabled citizens through the Aging and Disability Resource Center. Students in YMCA programs participated in weekly learning experiences focusing on growing fruit and vegetables and healthy eating. Each student had hands-on experience with their own small garden site, as well as helping with the raised beds.

Portage MGs

Educating the Public About Pollinators and More

MGVs presented Garden Dreams, a one-day educational workshop open to the public, which included talks on beekeeping and plants for pollinator gardens. Education on pollinators remained a focus at the Plover Public Library garden site, as well as a special display developed in conjunction with the UWSP Schmeekle Reserve Visitor Center. Additional displays at this year’s Garden Parade included presentations on cavity-nesting songbirds, sustainable organic farming, and community food security efforts through the Giving Gardens Program.

Enhancing Food Security

About $2,000 in donations collected at this year’s Garden Parade was given to Backpacks for Hope to provide supplemental food through the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County to school-age children who might otherwise go hungry on the weekends when they do not receive meals at school. Volunteers fill backpacks with enough food for four meals and an additional snack for each child for a weekend.