The Master Gardener Program in Door County started in 1995. Over 193 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 80 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2019.
In 2018, Door County Master Gardener Volunteers reported 7,730 hours of community service, worth a value of over $185,520.
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $24.69 per hour, from Independent Sector.
Beautify Community with Garden Planters
Since 2009, Door County Master Gardener Volunteers have planted and maintained over 40 barrels and planters in highly visible stretch of road in Ellison Bay. The history of the county’s cherry industry is incorporated into the planter designs. The township has recognized the value of the planters as a boost tourism, thus they help to financially support the project. In fact, the planter, Gus Klenke’s pick-up truck, is one of the most photographed points of interest in Northern Door County. The community support behind the planters has also raised awareness of the Door County Master Gardener Program and many of the local volunteers have joined the program
Renovate Public Space to Garden in Tourist Area
MGVs, along with the Village of Egg Harbor, renovated an overgrown lot adjacent to a popular public beach to improve the curb appeal in the tourist district. Residents, local business owners and visitors frequently comment on the beauty of the view and the colorful gardens. A MGV said, “Village officials and business owners praised the project, and the restored garden has brought more visitors to appreciate and enjoy this beautiful setting.”
Educate the Community at the Agriculture Research Station
MGVs provided community education at the demonstration garden, The Garden Door, located at the Peninsular Agricultural Research Station. The Garden Door is currently ranked by TripAdvisor as number eight of the top ten things to do/see in Door County. In 2018, a total of 201 visitors took part in the 7 guided tours of the gardens. During the annual Open House, an additional 180 people participated. Many commercial tour buses also stop at the Garden Door throughout the summer. Many people stop by the gardens on their own as well. MGVs maintain the gardens and provide a variety of educational opportunities for visitors.
Where you can find activities by MGVs
- The Garden Door
- UW Peninsular Ag Research Station
- Crossroads at Big Creek
- Ridges Sanctuary
- Heritage Village
- Village of Ellison Bay
- Boys and Girls Club
- Noble House