The Master Gardener Program in Polk County started in 2001. Over 146 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 17 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2019.
In 2018, Polk County Master Gardener Volunteers reported 809.5 hours of community service, worth a value of over $19,428.
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $24.69 per hour, from Independent Sector.
Grow Vegetables for Food Pantry
Polk County Master Gardener Volunteers grew over 200 pounds of carrots, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers for the Amery Area Food Shelf.
Maintain Garden at County Fairgrounds
MGVs renovated a garden for the Polk County Fair for as a way to engage fair visitors with plants and gardening information.
Teach Families about Plants at Library Garden
MGVs engaged approximately 75 kids and parents in gardening activities at the Balsam Lake Library. One activity involved kids planting and harvesting beans from the garden. “Children had fun appreciating the marvelous way that plants store their seeds and then all learned how and when to plant the seeds”, said MGV.
Maintain Garden at Trail Head
MGVs maintained the garden at the head of the Gandy Dancer Trail, a recreational trail begins at St. Croix Falls and passes through Centuria, Milltown, Luck, Frederic and Lewis. The short distances between these towns makes the Gandy Dancer Trail the most user friendly trail in the Midwest with easy access for food, lodging, parking and other areas to explore.
Maintain Garden at Assisted Living Center
MGVs gardened along with residents of Sophie’s Manor, an assisted living home in Centuria. This year, MGVs and residents renovated a garden water feature for the outdoor enjoyment of resident, visitors, and staff of the facility. They also planted, maintained, and harvested a vegetable garden. Veggies were incorporated into onsite meals. Gardening activities are one way for residents in assisted living to exercise, socialize, and engage in meaningful activities. One resident that helps has never gardened before and, “absolutely loves the hands on opportunity to care for the gardens.”
Where you can find activities by MGVs
- Polk County Fairgrounds
- Luck Municipal Library
- Quarter Moon Equine Therapy Center
- Garfield Park
- Amery Community Gardens
- Luck Campground