At the end of 2019, 7 Master Gardener Volunteers reported 295 hours of volunteer service for an estimated value of $7,072 (Independent Sector). They also reported 143 hours of continuing education and reached an estimated 681 individuals with various outreach projects.
Educate the Community on Garden Topics
Clark County Master Gardener Volunteers conducted a free garden conference to inform the community on a variety of topics. A local nursery owner gave a demonstration on plant propagation. Two MGVs presented New Tree Planting; they stressed the importance of site assessment, storage and handling of nursery stock, planting techniques and ongoing maintenance and pruning procedures. Clark County Extension Crops/Soils Agent Richard Halopka spoke about Dispelling Myths. The meeting was well attended with lively discussion throughout the presentations. The event was attended by 21 guests.
A Community Resource for Answering Garden Questions
Many residents in Clark County take advantage of the Ask a Master Gardener program to provide answers and solutions to gardening problems throughout the growing season. This program also includes making visits to county gardeners to gather samples for determining the exact nature of the problem and to send these materials to the plant pathology service for diagnosis. One such visit a MGV helped a local farmer identify Alternaria Leaf Spot on his melons. He remarked that the “plant disease was causing the fruit to be less sweet and not the same quality he had seen in the past.” He also had tomatoes that were affected by late blight. The recommendation was to remove all diseased plants and to consider crop rotation and planting more disease resistant varieties next year. It was a tough message to deliver, but people really appreciate understanding the problem and always express gratitude for this resource.
Community Gardens Improve Quality of Life
Clark County MGV’s plant and maintain decorative flower gardens at the Clark County Courthouse and Jail Museum, Clark County Fairgrounds, Clark County Humane Society, Neillsville Public Library and Neillsville Senior Center. They also helped prepare and beautify the grounds for the 2019 Mathis Farm Dairy Breakfast and provide gardening support at the Highground Memorial Park. It has been shown that these activities boost civic pride and uplift people’s spirits. One resident said “ you get a sense for possibility, it sends a message that the lights are on and we’ve got spirit here.”
Enhancing Clark County Fair Booth
The Clark County Fair is a great opportunity to educate the public on good gardening practices and to demonstrate the possibilities in creating decorative planters to beautify their homes and businesses. Clark County MGV’s prepared a new display board for use at the fair to recruit new members. MGV signage was updated on the fairgrounds placed in conjunction with the beautiful flower bed maintained by our group.
By the Numbers