Outagamie County Master Gardeners

In 2014 Outagamie County had 145 members, with 23 trained in 2014, and 113 certified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 92 hours in youth education
967 hours in community education
9,958 hours in support service
and participated in 3,024 hours in continuing education

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. The annual plant sale is our primary fundraiser. Given the spring we had, the sale did really well and we had enough plants remaining to have another plant sale for the public in midsummer. Over 100 MGVs participated before, during and after the sale.
  2. MGVs have been doing twice-monthly presentations at the Farmers Market for several years. Two other presentation projects have grown out of that program. Master Gardener on the Road was held 4 times during the winter and Master Gardeners Present is done 10 times a year. The latter program had 289 in attendance for the year.
  3. The annual Garden Discoveries garden walk showcases private gardens. All profits are given to the Community Gardens and a food drive is held during the event.
  4. At the Outagamie Co. Fair, 30 MGVs answered question and gave out free seed packages to adults and free gloves and garden aprons to children. Four MGVs also helped 4-H members prepare their vegetable and herb entries.
  5. We started a new project this year called the Second Thursday of the Month Club. MGVs get together in the afternoon and early evening for a fun time of working in the gardens on the Outagamie Co. UW-Extension grounds while sharing ideas and discussing volunteer projects and horticulture subjects. MGV maintain a Welcome Garden and Rain Garden by the front door, and also maintain the Rose Garden, Memorial Garden, and the Learning Garden. The 18 month old Learning Garden was used as a teaching garden for the MG students and the public.

Highlighted Project: 2014 State MG Conference

The OCMGA has hosted Garden Expectations, a local day-long educational seminar for the public for many years. This year we expanded that event to welcome MGVs from around the state to Appleton as we hosted the annual WI MG Association conference in March 2014. Because we have a loyal following who learn so much each year at this seminar, and because there was plenty of space at the venue, the conference was still open to the public. An advertising committee submitted information to TV stations, local newspapers, and stations for posting on their community calendars, as well as promoting the event through normal MG channels and to horticultural organizations. Over 450 people attended the conference. Using UW-Extension Conference Services for registration greatly reduced much of the stress of getting this many people signed up quickly and accurately.

We had many outstanding speakers at the conference. Keynote speaker Dan Heims of Terra Nova Nurseries gave two presentations. There were three breakout sessions with a choice of speakers on a variety of topics including herbs, hostas, native plants, beekeeping, and many others, as well as a panel discussion with local experts at the end of the conference.

We have always had a free gardening magazine giveaway table at our conferences and repeated this for the state conference. This was a popular (and unexpected for many of the attendees) feature. Over

25 venders offered a variety of quality products of interest. A raffle featuring a beautiful quilt—with it native flowers showing the public different ways to use flowers—and an extensive silent auction contributed greatly to a nice profit on the event.

In one way or another, over 100 MGVs were involved in making the conference a success.