Who are the Wood County Master Gardeners? Wood County Master Gardeners are an energetic group of trained volunteers who are dedicated to delivering meaningful community programs to improve the well-being of individuals and communities, to protect natural resources, and to help keep fresh fruits and vegetables on the table. They work in tandem with the UW Extension staff and other community partners to make a difference in the places we live, work, and learn.
Master Gardener volunteers are public educators who work on a variety of projects throughout the year. Some offer diagnostic help for horticulture issues to fellow Wood County residents at the extension office, farmers markets, and the Central Wisconsin Fair. Others grow and donate fresh veggies to food pantries from the community gardens in both Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield. Master Gardeners host demonstrations and workshops throughout the county in libraries, children’s festivals, and biannual seminars. Many work on a host of demonstration gardens throughout the county, promoting sound gardening practices and increasing the sense of community pride.
The first step in becoming a certified Master Gardener is completing Level 1 Training. The thirteen week course is intended to give volunteers a strong foundation in horticulture, including integrated pest management, soils and composting, plant diseases and weed management, as well as ornamental and edible gardens. Level 1 Training will take place Tuesday evenings starting with an orientation on January 13,2020. Classes will be held from 5:30-8:30PM at the Town of Wood hall in Pittsville. Cost is $125 and includes training materials, including manual.
Once you have completed Level 1 Training, you can choose programs and projects that help foster the mission of Master Gardeners in your community. There is an expectation of 24 hours of volunteer service each year. In following years, you will need to complete at least 10 hours of continuing education. There are many opportunities of continuing education, from monthly meetings to Level 2 Plants Plus to gain further knowledge.
Interested in learning more about the Wood County Master Gardeners and how you can make a real impact in your community? Visit the Wood County Master Gardener Association, learn more about the UW Madison Master Gardener Program, or contact Wood County Horticulture Coordinator Janell Wehr at 715.421.8440.
Seats for training are limited and early registration is encouraged. Register by downloading the Application and mailing to 400 Market Street, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495.