The Master Gardener Program in St. Croix County started in 1997. Over 647 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 90 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2019. It operates in conjunction with the Pierce County Master Gardener Program.
In 2018, St. Croix County Master Gardener Volunteers reported 3200 hours of community service, worth a value of over $76,800.
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $24.69 per hour, from Independent Sector.
St. Croix Valley Community Garden
St. Croix Master Gardener Volunteers planned, planted, and maintained a community garden near New Richmond. The garden provided rental plots for gardeners and partnered with schools for service learning day, as well as other youth groups to teach them about gardening. A portion of the garden was used to grow over 1000 pounds of vegetables to be donated to the food pantry.
MGVs hosted the annual “Garden U” educational seminar for the general public. This day-long event featured speakers, vendors, and educational displays. This year’s theme was “Protecting Water Quality” and focused on ways to protect the groundwater and surface water with various gardening and landscaping efforts. Over 150 people attended. Garden U helped people be more successful in their home gardening efforts. With St. Croix and Pierce counties having many water resources, including high quality trout streams and being bordered by the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers, water protection education is valuable and imperative.
St. Croix County Fair
MGVs developed a display for the St. Croix County fair that featured gardening in small spaces and gardening with children. Two wood face cut-outs of a scarecrow and Peter Rabbit were made in partnership with a local school (shop and art classes) to attract families to the area. Fairgoers were attracted to the display where they learned various gardening techniques, especially related to growing in small spaces. Raised beds and containers planted in advance demonstrated how these options produced relatively large amounts of produce. Children were exposed to gardening in a positive, fun way.
Fundraising Plant Sale
SCVMGA hosted its annual plants sale in Hudson, where it raised over $4,000. These funds are then distributed as community grants to a wide variety of projects throughout Pierce and St. Croix Counties. Over 36 projects were funded this year. The sale is also an opportunity to provide educational information to the public. Over the years, community members have come to know the plant sale as an opportunity to talk with Master Gardener and ask questions about a wide variety of topics. We have educational resources, such as fact sheets, on hand about timely topics. Because of bad Japanese Beetle problems in the area, we educate people about the most environmentally friendly ways to deal with this pest.
Where you can find activities by MGVs
- Hudson Farmers Markets
- New Richmond Community Garden
- Houlton School Garden
- CCH Therapy Garden
- St. Croix County Fair
- St. Patrick School Garden
- Willow River Elementary School
- Hudson and New Richmond Parks