At the end of 2019, 65 Master Gardener Volunteers reported 3,455 hours of volunteer service for an estimated value of $82,931 (Independent Sector). They also reported 938 hours of continuing education and reached an estimated 7,939 individuals with various outreach projects.
Answering Questions at Local Farmer’s Market
MGVs addressed over 900 inquiries related to home vegetable gardens, trees, insects and other questions at the Lake Geneva Farmer’s Market. MGVs provide university information to the local community and visitors to the area with handouts and fact sheets from Extension, answer gardening questions and concerns and provide additional university based resources to inquiries every week from May to October. The consistent presence of Master Gardener Volunteers provides valuable university based information and resources to local residents, tourists and visitors and help sustain the community presence of Extension.
Providing Resources at Walworth County Fair
The Walworth County Fair is the largest county fair in Wisconsin and MGVs addressed over 250 inquires about invasive species, home gardens and lawns, and other questions. MGVs provide handouts about current gardening alerts, fact sheets from UW-Extension, answer gardening questions and concerns and provide additional university based resources to inquiries. The display also helps recruit new volunteers to the Master Gardener Program.
Supporting the Community at Phoenix Community Garden
The Phoenix Community Garden in its third year with thirteen garden beds adopted by Delavan community members and two large community beds. Excess produce that is harvested is given to the Harold Swanson Food Pantry in Delavan. Through fundraising and donations, supplies were purchased to help maintain the gardens this year. Phoenix Middle School students and teachers helped prepare the beds in the spring.
Creating a Sensory Garden at SMILES
For the past six years, MGVs have created and helped maintain the Sensory Gardens at SMILES (Special Methods in Learning Equine Skills) in Darien. SMILES offers individuals with special needs, of all ages, the joy of participating in an equine assisted program which provides social, emotional, physical, and personal rewards. The sensory gardens provide a therapeutic location for participants and their caregivers to experience, enjoy, and rejuvenate while sitting in the gardens. This year they added an additional garden area with seating.