2014-2015 Projects

Hoard Historical Museum Educational Programming (Fort Atkinson)

The MGV work as a team at the Museum. In addition to leading a group of volunteers caring for the grounds, they presented a slate of educational programs, free to the public, in and around the museum. The highlight of the year was a half day seminar on the herb, Lavender – its origins, historical uses, modern culinary and household uses, varieties, and care. Other programs included talks about tools, propagation, and a look at invasive species and their impact. We also installed permanent informational signs in the Peony and Rain Gardens. A total of 25 adults (13 MGVs/12 volunteers) volunteered a total of 509 hours this year at the museum.

WE GROW Continues to Grow (Jefferson)

This past spring, three kindergarten classes, with 20 students each, helped plant pumpkins, a Three Sisters garden and a pizza garden. Now first graders, they came out to the garden to harvest their pumpkins. The pumpkins were shared with the neighbors around the school as their service project. The produce from the gardens was harvested to be cooked and sampled as well as shared with the student’s families and others.

During the summer the handicap accessible portion of the garden was completed with the addition of a hard surface made from road gravel. This wheelchair friendly surface, along with two handicap accessible garden tables, makes the garden more accessible to students with special needs. Eleven MGVs provided 556 hours of volunteer hours in 2015.

The Kids Garden in Lake Mills (Lake Mills)

As a new and developing afterschool and community center garden, they appreciated a huge boost from WIMGA with a $250 grant to buy kid-sized tools. The kids loved having tools that were right-sized for them. Students started seeds with donated grow lights, experimented with straw bale gardening for a variety of vegetables and learned the benefits of spreading “Black Gold” (compost) in their garden. There was excitement in harvesting a great red and purple potato crop. Sun flowers and Mexican sunflowers were planted to encourage bees and support pollination education. Garden is supported by three MGV volunteers who volunteered 140.5 hours in 2015.

Jefferson County Fair (Jefferson)

The MGVs at the Jefferson County Fair interact with thousands of fair goers during fair week. Good impressions are vital. The fair board responded to our request and acquired improved display stands. With a grant from WIMGA, our County Association acquired new banners to attract attention and present a professional image. MGVs encourage participation at the County Fair by speaking to local 4H groups, updating the fair book and working with fair staff to find qualified judges. Jefferson County Fair project was supported by 12 MGVs that contributed 168 volunteer hours.

UWX Plant Health Advisors (Jefferson)

A group of 14 specially trained Plant Health Advisors worked in the Master Gardener Office at the Jefferson County UWX office, two days per week from May through September, for two (or more) hour shifts, answering homeowners’ questions about all aspects of gardening. We used the VolunteerSpot website to sign up for our shifts. 146 volunteer hours were reported by this group. They served 60 clients. Some clients had several questions, and there was some overlap with the classifications. The following summarizes the assistance provided by topic.

  • Plant ID                           8
  • Plant problems              18
  • Tree/shrub questions   18
  • Insect problems             11
  • Weeds                              5
  • Turf                                  2
  • Animals                           2
  • Mushrooms                    2

Rotary Park (Jefferson)

Our year did not start out well because the annuals grown by the high school students for us had to be discarded due to a fungus that developed in the greenhouse. That meant our color scheme and design had to be altered to fit what we could find on short notice. We did plant and maintain 9 flower beds and 8 pots during the summer. This fall we partnered with the high school green plants and greenhouse growing class and developed 2 new areas of the park by edging, planting them with some perennials and then mulching them. The students will be growing annuals for us again next spring and hopefully will also be able to assist in cleaning up the flower beds and planting them.

Nine master gardeners worked on the project donating 320.5 volunteer hours. 12 non MG volunteers who contributed approximately 30 hours. We received around $300 from the Jefferson Rotary to purchase annuals, etc, and the city of Jefferson furnished mulch, compost and two flats of annuals.

We will meet in the fall at the end of the season for a planning session. We will then decide which annuals to plant and where and also which perennials need to be transplanted and thinned in the coming year. We have received nothing but favorable comments about our efforts and many questions about some of the plants we have utilized. We hope to continue the partnership with the high school class and thus teach the students more about gardening and the benefits of volunteering.

First Congregational UCC Church (Watertown)

MG Volunteers provided on-going planting and care of three gardens now in its 5th year of existence. The coordinator writes a bi- monthly gardening article for the church newsletter and is frequently sought out for advice from church members for their own gardens. A narrow garden of all brown-eyed-susans was added this year as well as five containers. An Outdoor Fairy Garden was created in old wheelbarrow. A number of annuals were started indoors from seeds this year. The coordinator role expanded to include advice and plant selection for the entire 10 acre property. The property was recognized by National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat and part of the Million Pollinator Gardening Project. The coordinator instituted the process of meeting the criteria and applying for this honor.

Thanks to great gardening weather for most of the year, our problems were minimal. The gardens make a difference by providing native and non-native plants that attract pollinators and by providing plants for the Monarch butterflies especially. The love of the Congregation for these gardens is exemplified by their willingness to donate cash and plants for it. The compliments are endless about the beauty they add to the grounds. Three Master Gardeners provided 74.5 hours of volunteer service for this project while one non-MG volunteer provided 40 hours.