At the end of 2019, 25 Master Gardener Volunteers reported 1,403 hours of volunteer service for an estimated value of $33,666 (Independent Sector). They also reported 398 hours of continuing education and reached an estimated 3,014 individuals with various outreach projects.
Teaching Kids to Grow Food
Crescent Elementary School Garden in Rhinelander started in 2015 was our main focus this year. The 46′ X 46′ garden area is located within the playground and surrounded by an 8′ fence to keep deer out. It consists of raised beds filled with compost amended soil. Cardboard covered with wood chips blocks the weeds between the beds and in the surrounding area. It is supported by the teachers, parents and children of at the school with guidance by volunteers from the Master Gardeners of the North. The produce grown in the Crescent School Garden is used in the Crescent School for lunches and snacks and by supporting families.
The children love working in the garden and are learning much as they work with parents and Master Gardeners. They were overheard telling their friends at lunch when the first peppers were served that they helped plant them!!!
In another project, Master Gardener Volunteers assisted over 100 youngsters to plant a salad pot of healthy greens at the annual YMCA Healthy Kids Day. Many children who came reported back on how well their lettuce pots had done last year.
Growing Vegetables for Those in Need
Volunteers assisted at the Rhinelander Community Garden partnering with the Rhinelander Area Food Bank to provide fresh veggies. Plants were also given to the needy for their own gardens
Gardening for Pollinators at the County Seat
As the Oneida County seat, Rhinelander is often associated with its courthouse, topped by a Tiffany glass dome. Leading to the main entry are annual gardens maintained by Master Gardener Volunteers. The garden this year was an explosion of color making it a butterfly magnet. Plants included ageratum, cosmos, dahlias, dianthus, zinnias, asclepias, and cleome. A plant list was available to the public for creating their own pollinator garden.
Answering Garden Questions
Six regular volunteers also assisted with answering horticultural, plant and insect identification calls at the Extension office during the busy season.