At the end of 2019, 18 Master Gardener Volunteers reported 649 hours of volunteer service for an estimated value of $15,572 (Independent Sector). They also reported 319 hours of continuing education and reached an estimated 1,246 individuals with various outreach projects.
Promoting Gardening at U.W. Stout Wellness Fair
The U.W. Stout Wellness Fair is held every year and the Dunn County MGVs are invited to participate as a way to provide information on the Master Gardener Program, highlight local projects, and support the connection between gardening and wellness. MGVs provided information on best practices in home gardening and environmental stewardship. Over 200 people came to visit the booths at the fair. Many stopped by the Master Gardener booth to ask questions about gardening or plants. An attending MGV noted that there was a great interest in gardening at this event!
Providing Education to the Community
The Dunn County Master Gardener Volunteers hosted their 10th annual Spring Begins! seminar in March. The seminar provided great, research-based information to participants, plus continuing education to MGVs. The ½ day program included a presentation on Tips, Tricks and Tools for Adaptive Gardening Techniques, which addressed gardening as we age and how to adapt as our life needs and styles change. Approximately 50 people attended, armed with questions and eager to try new gardening techniques they learned at the seminar. The seminar was met with many positive comments including “Excellent! I learned a lot.” and “Fabulous speaker! Loved it!”
Maintaining the Veterans’ Memorial Flower Garden
The Veterans’ Memorial Flower Garden is a long-established project that MGVs have invested much time, effort, and passion. The garden of red, white and blue flowers served as a backdrop for ceremonies at the memorial, including the Flag Day ceremony. The Director of Public Works has commented that the Veterans’ Memorial Flower Garden is a much-appreciated attraction in downtown Menomonie and is valued by the community as is all the volunteer work of the MGVs. Each year, the garden presents a sense of place for the community.
Promoting Agriculture at Chippewa Valley Farm-City Day
The 12th annual Farm-City Day was hosted in Dunn County. Farm-City Day is a community event that invites the public out to a local farm to learn about modern agricultural practices. Included at this event was an opportunity for attendees to learn about bees and have gardening questions answered by local MGVs. MGVs shared information on pollinators and how to garden for pollinators as well as on the Master Gardener Program. A special pollinator bean bag game was set up at the booth and, according to one of the MGVs, “was a big hit for all the children and parents!” The event saw over 1,000 members of the public come out to the farm.