The Master Gardener Program in Washington County started in 2009. Over 155 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 31 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Agriculture Educator Stephanie Plaster.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||159 hours|
|Adult Education||266 hours|
Since 2000: 19,741 hours at a value of over $403,586
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.48 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.
Where you can find activities by MGVs
- Germantown Community Gardens
- West Bend Community Gardens
- Washington County Fair & Fairgrounds
- Hartford Park “Jumping Cows” garden
- West Bend Farmers Market
- Threshold Adaptive Gardening Plot
- Mother Earth News Fair
- Plant Health Hot Line
Community Gardens Address Elder Food Deserts
Although lack of access to fresh produce frequently occurs in inner city locations, this situation exists in many other communities. To assist the many seniors who cannot attend a farmers’ market, or won’t purchase items at the grocery bagged in amounts too large for a single person, MGVs maintain a plot in each of our community gardens to donate all of the produce to the local senior center. This season 650 pounds of produce was delivered during the growing season, for seniors to take home for free.
Oﬀering Information in Our Communities
We have a booth at several community functions, including the West Bend Farmers’ Market, the Washington County Fair, and the Mother Earth Fair. People approach our booths with questions about their gardens — pests bothering their plants, what successes they have had, and questions about the MG program. We also invite the public to our meetings that include an educational talk on gardening topics. Using Facebook to publicize these programs has resulted in an increase in attendance since using social media.
Answering Questions at the Farmers’ Market
Our booth at the West Bend Farmers’ Market oﬀers a reliable opportunity for people to get accurate information on growing plants and controlling pests. New MGVs work alongside seasoned MGs at the booth to find information for questions. If the questions need more research, we oﬀer to take an email address or phone number to get back to the person. We have oﬀered starts of plants at the beginning of the season, like chives, for gardener