The Master Gardener Program in Marinette County started in 1991. Over 276 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 54 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2019.
In 2018, Marinette County Master Gardener Volunteers reported 4992 hours of community service, worth a value of over $119,808.
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $24.69 per hour, from Independent Sector.
Spring Garden Conference
Marinette County Master Gardener Volunteers hosted the 23rd annual spring garden conference at UW-Marinette campus, providing a keynote presentation and 17 break-out educational sessions and hands-on workshops to attendees. Approximately 180 individuals were given access to current horticultural production information via this conference. This included citizens of at least 7 different counties, and MGV’s from at least 5 counties who were able to gain Continuing Education hour credits. In addition, our conference provided 10 local MGV’s the opportunity to share information with class participants.
Harmony Arboretum Demonstration Gardens
MGVs and UWEX Educator Scott Reuss provided the expertise and workforce to manage all of the horticultural demonstrations within the county owned Harmony Arboretum. MGVs replaced the original shade garden structure and gardens to include a more amenable gathering space this past year, along with the continuing upkeep of the rest of the garden spaces. MGV’s shared information with hundreds of families that visited the gardens either on their own or at the 10 horticultural workshops and events held there during the 2018 growing season. Visits to the Demonstration Gardens by area residents continue to increase. The safe, relaxing environment within the gardens offers an educational setting for families, as well as being utilized by many youth groups to conduct both formal and informal education. Individuals and families are able to learn about horticultural practices, the natural world around them, and how much fun interacting with nature and plants can be for kids of all ages.
Halloween Family Fun Fest
MGVs formed the nucleus of the planning committee and preparation workers for the Halloween Family Fun Fest. This event is held within the Harmony Arboretum Demonstration Gardens to meet two primary goals: 1. Provide a safe environment for younger children to learn about plants, animals, and nature; while enjoying many different games, activities, and being able to dress up and have a lot of fun. 2. Introduce area resident families to Harmony Arboretum and give them reason to come back and experience the rest of the learning opportunities provided there. 416 residents from 114 families attended the event. Families and caregivers were thrilled to have an event in such a safe setting; with so many different activities, learning stations, and games to keep youth active and engaged. Attendees were able to learn about animal care, plant care, many different natural world related topics, and many other topics. One group of event attendees that were extremely appreciative of this event’s safety and learning focus are families and caregivers of those with developmental disabilities.
There is no fee to attend this event, but families are asked to consider bringing nonperishable food items. Approximately 350 lbs. of such items were donated to those in need in our area from these collections, as well as a number of the pumpkins not utilized by attendees.
Where you can find activities
- Harmony Arboretum
- Amberg Community Center
- Field of Faith Community Garden
- Linda’s Garden at Spies Library
- Isaac Stephenson Memorial Statue
- West Shore Fishing Museum
- Marinette County Town Halls
- Community Libraries