The Master Gardener Program in Clark County started in 1997. Over 112 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 11 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2019.
In 2018, Clark County Master Gardener Volunteers reported 424.5 hours of community service, worth a value of over $10,188.
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $24.69 per hour, from Independent Sector.
Educate the Community about Gardening
Clark County Master Gardener Volunteers offered a free garden conference to interact with the community, provide educational opportunities, and to share gardening know-how. Through a variety of speakers, the 2018 conference addressed global warming and the health issues associated with the changes in the environment; growing raspberries in Wisconsin; and experiences with straw bale gardening. The meeting was well attended by members and the community. Throughout the presentations there was good discussion and further explanations on each of the topics. One MGVs said, “It is a chance to introduce our group to the public and to encourage further interaction throughout the growing season by contacting the extension office.”
Grow Public Garden for Community Beautification
Public green space boosts community pride, improves personal well-being, and make spaces more inviting. MGVs planted and maintained gardens at Clark County Courthouse, Clark County Fairgrounds, Clark County Humane Society, and Neillsville Public Library. “Enhancing beauty in our community through the use of colorful flowers and plants softens the harshness of concrete buildings and pavement,” said one MGV participant.
Educate Public with Garden Bus Tour
MGVs sponsored a regional bus tour to provide opportunity for community to gain new perspectives on gardening and build social connections. This year’s tour includes Christopher Gardens, a 500 acre farm and botanical garden located along the western shores of Lake Michigan; Bookworm Gardens, a whimsical botanical garden with community events & sections inspired by popular children’s books and the Fox Botanical Gardens in Appleton, where garden displays and natural areas combine to showcase the seasonal beauty of plants and gardens in Wisconsin. “It was a day filled with inspiration and beauty,” said one participant.
Renovate Garden at Senior Center
MGVs partnered with Neillsville Senior Center director to renovate an existing flower bed around the facility. Existing perennials were salvaged and weeds were removed. Planters were added to provide color. “Sometimes a project can look overwhelming when you don’t know where to begin. It was great to provide a start and give the client the tools they needed to turn a neglected spot into an area of beauty,” said MGV.
Where you can find activities by MGVs
- Clark County Courthouse
- Clark County Fairgrounds
- Clark County Humane Society
- Clark County Fair Booth
- Spring Plant Sale
- Neillsville Community Garden
- Neillsville Library Garden
- The High Ground
By the Numbers