The Master Gardener Program in Winnebago County started in 1990. Over 516 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 99 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2019.
In 2018, Winnebago County Master Gardener Volunteers reported 7203.5 hours of community service, worth a value of over $172,884.
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $24.69 per hour, from Independent Sector.
Grow Vegetables for the Community
Winnebago County Master Gardener Volunteers, in partnership with the UW-Extension FoodWIse educator, provided gardening classes for 9 young adults with mental health disorders. Through the various gardening activities, the participants demonstrated important life-skills including self-sufficiency, responsibility, teamwork, and decision making.
Educate Extension Office Visitors with a Rain Garden Demonstration
At the Winnebago County UW-Extension office, MGVs used 5000 square feet of rain gardens to demonstrate how landscapes can be designed in harmony with existing property feature to mitigate stormwater runoff. MGVs contributed to the educational component by preparing information sheets about each of the 50+ plants types including native and non-native plant to be displayed on a rotating basis in a permanent case near the garden.
Maintain Garden at Town Hall
MGVs worked closely with the Town of Algoma in creating a landscape design for the municipal building that blends existing and new plant material; along with providing education in public garden design and maintenance. Part of the design created a focal point at a busy intersection by planting seasonal annuals around the building’s sign. With the MGVs assistance, these changes have given the town confidence to share their building with other municipality leaders
Educate the Community on Invasive Animal Species
MGVs launched an effort to educate the public about the invasive jumping worms. Educational sessions were held at the Oshkosh Farmers Market, the Neenah Farmers Market, and the Paine Festival of Spring. Each event attracts several thousand attendees. MGVs created an information board to inform people about the growing problem, its effects on gardens and lawns, resources if people suspect they may have them, and how to properly dispose of jumping worms.
Where you can find activities by MGVs
- Omro Carter Memorial Library
- Neenah Shattuck Park
- Neenah Octagon House
- Oshkosh Area Humane Society Garden
- Oshkosh Farmers Market
- Park View Health Center
- Morgan House
- Paine Gardens & Arboretum