Master Gardener Program in Rock County 2018

The Master Gardener Program in Rock County started in 1985. Over 344 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 32 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2019.

In 2018, Rock County Master Gardener Volunteers reported 2350 hours of community service, worth a value of over $56,400

* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $24.69 per hour, from Independent Sector.

Featured Projects

Educate Community on Pollinator Habitat

Rock County Master Gardener Volunteers educated the public on the importance of pollinator habitat. MGVs planted fruit trees, wildflowers, and white-clover at the community garden to increase pollinator habitat.  This effort also provided pollinator education to the renters of the 140+ plots benefiting from the plantings.  MGVs said, “We are very excited to create this orchard and contribute to the future with the food it will produce, the bees it will feed and the educational opportunities it will allow us to host.”

MGVs also installed a pollinator garden at Hedberg Public Library in Janesville. Plants were labeled and an inventory was updated on the library’s website so visitors can learn about the garden.  The library garden has become a focal point for individuals and groups. It was a featured stop on a recent Wine Tasting Tour of downtown Janesville. It is a favorite hang-out for children who are involved in Hedberg’s outdoor lunch programs for parents and kids which is housed in two tents just feet away from the garden. It was also a stop on this year’s MGV garden tour. The benches which ring the garden are visited frequently by people having their lunches, readers, and people looking for a place to relax. Early on the garden was vandalized but since then the garden has begun to flourish.  

Educate Community how to Compost

MGVs created a demonstration of the effects of compost on three types of soil: sandy, clay, and loam.  The live demonstration was used at Rotary Botanical Gardens on Earth Day, as part of our Compost Program at Hedberg Public Library, and at numerous other venues. It allowed people to see – in real time and on video – the effects of mixing compost into garden soil – providing a visual representation of how compost aids in water retention and soil quality.

Create Seed Library

In conjunction with the Arrowhead Library System, MGVs twice presented on seed saving to approximately 100 people. MGVs helped provide 50 seed packets to libraries in both Beloit and Janesville; Five smaller libraries received 25 packets each of 18 varieties.  Some libraries ran out of certain varieties, and more than 50 patrons borrowed from the main (Janesville) library. The Arrowhead Library system has been approached by other libraries about starting similar programs.

image of compost presentation

mg-footer-logoWhere you can find activities by MGVs

  • Rotary Botanical Gardens
  • Rock County Community Gardens
  • Rock County UW-Extension Office
  • Rock County Community Gardens
  • Saint Elizabeth Manor, Footville
  • Rotary BG Children’s Education Programs
  • Janesville Elementary Schools
  • Arrowhead Library System Seed Libraries

By the Numbers

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