At the end of 2019, 34 Master Gardener Volunteers reported 2,385 hours of volunteer service for an estimated value of $57,228 (Independent Sector). They also reported 571 hours of continuing education and reached an estimated 15,822 individuals with various outreach projects.
Engaging Elders at Senior Expos
Master Gardener Volunteers interact with over 300 Seniors at both the Beaver Dam and Waupun Senior Expos. The Master Gardener booth is always a very popular booth with the attendees as they come to learn about horticulture topics, play a game, and win prizes. One MGV does a 45-minute presentation at the event which draws attention from not only the Seniors, but also many vendors.
Educating the Community with Gardening for Gold
Gardening for Gold is a daylong fall symposium with four speakers on current and trend setting horticultural topics. This was our fifth year and we had many returnees in the 70 participants who gave rave reviews to the event. People went home with copious ideas on improving their home landscapes. A tasty lunch as well as a silent auction rounded out the event and gave the participants something tangible to take with them as well as helped our organization raise much needed funds.
Gardening with Individuals with Dementia
Master Gardeners partner with ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Center) to bring quarterly programs on horticultural topics to early dementia clients and their caregivers. From pressing flowers to growing different varieties of pumpkins, the 12 participants come each quarter to learn and engage in hands-on projects. The program gives caregivers a much-needed respite from the stress of continual care, as well as sparks memories that might be dormant for the client. Clients often say that it is their favorite program of the month.
Educating the Public through Media Outreach
Dodge County Master Gardener Volunteers reach out to the county in various media formats in order to hit a vast range of populations. Master Gardener volunteers write newspaper articles for three newspapers that cover most of the county. These articles are then posted on Facebook and the Extension web site. Master Gardener Volunteers are also regular guests on a Community Comment radio program promoting events, the Help Line, and our organization. In this manner we impact hundreds of individuals, many of whom comment to us that they heard, read, or viewed our information through one of these venues.