Master Gardener Program in Rock County 2017

The Master Gardener Program in Rock County started in 1985. Over 360 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 31 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2018. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Agriculture Educator Nick Baker.


Volunteer Service in 2017

Youth Education 294 hours
Adult Education 268 hours
Support 2,314 hours
Total 2,875 hours

Since 2000: 79,827 hours at a value of over $1,468,622


* 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

  • Rotary Botanical Gardens
  • Rock County Community Gardens
  • Rock County UW-Extension Office
  • Rock County Community Gardens
  • Saint Elizabeth Manor, Footville
  • Rotary BG Children’s Education Programs
  • Janesville Elementary Schools
  • Arrowhead Library System Seed Libraries

Protecting Pollinators

MGVs began a Pollinator Project to educate the public on the importance of pollinators. We designed and printed a tri-fold pamphlet on the project; taught an introductory class called Pollinators 101 which was open to the public; and taught students at VanBuren School about pollinators and how to build pollinator houses and donated seeds to the students for their pollinator garden. MGVs also planted four pollinator gardens in Janesville: two at the Rock County Community Gardens (one of annuals and one of perennials), an herb pollinator garden at the Rock County Fairgrounds, and an all perennial garden at Hedberg Public Library. MGVs are working in conjunction with Hedberg to establish a Bee Nook of books in a small corner of the library that looks out over the pollinator garden. The next phase of this project will be offering Pollinator 101 classes for service groups and the library and offering hands-on classes on how to plan and plant a pollinator garden.

Creating a Seed Library

In collaboration with a librarian at one of the smaller libraries in the Arrowhead Library System in Rock County, MGVs set up seed libraries in all seven System libraries which will debut in early 2018.

Encouraging Others to Garden

MGVs staffed tables at Farmers Markets in Janesville and Beloit on four different days. We encouraged gardening by distributing free seeds and plants, demonstrated how to make solitary bee houses, distributed literature from the DNR about jumping worms, and answered general garden questions with over 300 people.

image of volunteers