The Master Gardener Program in La Crosse County started in 1997. Over 361 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 35 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2019.
In 2018, LaCrosse County Master Gardener Volunteers reported 1997 hours of community service, worth a value of over $47,928.
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $24.69 per hour, from Independent Sector.
Educate the Community on Gardening
La Crosse County Master Gardener Volunteers educated the public with their annual Spring Into Gardening symposium. Topics included working with youth in after-school garden clubs, food preservation, monarch butterfly habitat, and perennial plants selection and maintenance. Over 106 people participated in this day-long event, an increase of 26 from the previous year.
Maintain Public Garden Space
La Crosse County Master Gardener Volunteers played a significant role in the planning and maintenance of Riverside International Friendship Gardens, a 1.2 botanical garden with the City of La Crosse Parks Department. MGVs also offered educational programs to the public. MGVs created new ways to attract volunteers for the gardens by offering a winter class to instruct about the gardens using a newly made video. MGVs also advertised using a sandwich board in the gardens. The gardens are ranked by TripAdvisor as #11 of things to do in La Crosse; many school groups and bus tours come to the gardens each year.
Maintain Native Gardens at Environmental Center
MGVs created and maintained native gardens on the grounds of Myrick Park Center. In partnership with a number of other organizations, Myrick Park Center provided conservation projects throughout Wisconsin, hosted programs for in- and out-of school youth work-placement, and various nature education programs. MGVs ensured the plantings in the park are suitable to meet the mission of Myrick Park Center and its programs.
Where you can find activities by MGVs
- Riverside International Friendship Garden
- Myrick-Hixon Ecopark
- Kane Street Gardens
- Spring into Gardening annual seminar
- YWCA Adaptive Garden
- Evergreen Garden Club, Holmen
- Earth Fair, Myrick Park
- Onalaska Public Library