Master Gardener Program in Vilas County 2017

The Master Gardener Program in Vilas County started in 2010. Over 130 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 16 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2018. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Summer Horticulturist/Nutrition Educator Mary Stys.

Volunteer Service in 2017

Youth Education 119 hours
Adult Education 124 hours
Support 624 hours
Total 866 hours

Since 2010: 13,827 hours at a value of over $257,236

* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $23.06 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual you can find activities by MGVs

  • Northland Pines Community Garden
  • Eagle River Depot Gardens
  • Walter Olson Seed Library
  • Eagle River Farmers Market
  • St Germain Veterans Memorial
  • Farm to School Projects
  • Eagle River Mainstreet planters
  • MGV monthly garden presentations

Sixth Graders Learn About Micro Greens

Every September the Vilas County Youth Coalition hosts a Positive Alternative Conference for the sixth graders where MGVs offer an interactive activity related to gardening or nutrition. This year our contribution was planting sunflower micro greens. Students tasted, learn about the high nutritional value of micro greens, and planted a container to take home with them along with instructions. Many of the students were hesitant to taste the greens but then loved the taste, some coming back for another sample, again and again. More than 500 students took these “mini gardens” home to grow and enjoy.

Community Garden is a Place to Share

Our Community Garden offers individual plots for families to grow their own veggies, youth education plots, and a hoop house growing produce exclusively for our Food Pantry. Once a week the MGVs and Farm to School Educator hosted the 4-H Club in the garden to share our knowledge and pass along our love of gardening to another generation. Students learn to plant, weed, identify pests, taste the veggies, and love to find worms.

Farm to School Connects Students with Food

Over 1200 students at 8 different Northland Pines Schools have had unique opportunities helping connect them with gardening and food in the Farm to School program. MGVs teach in the gardens and help with school nutrition events and bringing school grown produce into classrooms and cafeterias. MGA donations helped build gardens at the grade schools, get tools, seeds, as well as materials for winter sowing in the classrooms.

image of kids gardening