Our Mission:

The Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association, located in Rock County, Wisconsin, is the 42nd association of the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program.

This blog is used to distribute timely information to association members regarding volunteer opportunities, MGV highlights, and other social tid bits.

Horticulture related information is to be directed to the Horticulture Educator or the Plant Health Advisors.

This blog is not for garden related questions.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Grinnell Hall in Beloit is having a Plant Sale Fundraiser on Thursday and Friday, May 11 and 12. Coordinator Paula Schutt would like to have a Master Gardener Volunteer on hand both mornings to educate people on the plants and their care.   Hours will be determined by the MGV's availability.

Paula is working on her newsletter and would like to be able to publish that she does have MGVs coming.  That means she would need commitments by 10 am this Monday.

If you can work please contact Paula either by phone or by email at the number or email address listed below.

This is an approved MGV project and will earn you one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) per hour for your participation.

If you wish to participate contact:
Paula Schutt, Coordinator
Grinnell Hall Senior Center
631 Bluff Street
Beloit, WI 53511

UPDATE:  We have a volunteer for Friday.  We still need a volunteer for Thursday!


Friday, April 7, 2017

Volunteer Opportunity - Earth Day at Rotary Botanical Gardens

RPMGA will be hosting a space at Rotary Botanical Gardens Earth Day Celebration, "Earth Day Around the World."  The event runs from 10 am to 3 pm.on Saturday, April 22.

We'll be making pollinator houses all day long.  We'll have directions to give away on how to make pollinator houses. We'll give away a handout called Pollinators 101.  We will give away herb seeds and information on the importance of pollinators. We'll stamp hand with pictures of pollinators.  We're bringing a diorama that will show the process of composting.

We'll be outside, under a tent.

We're looking for volunteers to help with set-up the morning of the event, and tear-down at the end, at least 2 each.  We also need shift volunteers.  We'll be breaking the day into two 2 1/2 hour shifts, and we'll need 2 volunteers for each shift.  Set-up will be as early at 7 am the morning of the event.  Tear-down will begin a soon as the event closes at 3 pm.

Master Gardener Volunteers will earn one (1) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) per hour for participation.

Contact Mary Kay Thompson at 608-322-4800 if you wish to volunteer.  We need your help!!  Thanks!!

For more information about the event click on the link below.

Earth Day Around the World - at Rotary Botanical Gardens

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Identifying Winter Trees program will be held at Riverside Park in Janesville

REMINDER: April 6 continuing education program - Identifying Winter Trees

Hello, everyone.

Just a reminder that the Identifying Winter Trees will be held at Riverside Park in Janesville on Thursday afternoon, April 6 at 4:00 pm.  We'll meet on the north end of the park near the North Pavilion.  Dress for the weather, bring writing materials, and wear moisture proof shoes.

We're hoping to have a good turnout.

Ethan Lee will present the program and he'll have handouts for us.  Photos below show some of the techniques we'll learn in identifying and even measuring trees.

Using a Biltmore Stick to measure a tree.

Black Locust seed pods.

Cherry buds.

Using a Clinometer to measure tree height.

Maple buds.

Sycamore buds

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Identifying Trees in Winter - April 6 Continuing Education Program

Red maple
Identifying trees in those seasons when they are covered with full blown leaves is much easier than in the winter and very early spring when there are no leaves on them at all.  Learning to identify trees from shape, bark, and fruit or blossoms can be a real challenge.

Janesville Urban Forester, Ethan Lee, is going to walk us through the fine points of tree identification without a full-blown leaf to be seen.  Below are a few examples to give you an idea what we'll be looking for.

We will be meeting at Riverside Park on the north end by the ball diamonds at 4 pm.  That area has a good variety of tree species.  Bring something to use for notes, wear warm clothing and water-proof shoes.  We don't know what the weather will be like, but if you wear layers you can adjust your comfort level on the spot.

We will provide study guides and split into small groups to work together to identify trees then bring your conclusions back to the full group for discussion.

This is an approved Continuing Education program which will earn Master Gardeners one (1) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) per hour of participation.

Eastern White Pine
Paper Bark Birch
If you have friends, neighbors, family members who are not MGVs but who would like to learn more about tree ID, bring them along.  Our charter is education.  We'd be happy to include those who are interested this very valuable skill.  There is no charge for this class.

All photographs used in the announcement are public domain, non-copyrighted material.  Click on the photos to enlarge them.

River Birch 
River Birch Catkin

White Oak

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Follow-Up on Pollinators 101

We had a good turnout for our Pollinators 101 program on Thursday night.  19 people in all. Our hands-on workshop (building pollinator hotels) went very smoothly.

Sandy Wiley and Bev Drew

Werner and Rose Last.

Bev Drew and Karen Bernard

Carol Knoll and Sandy Czubek
Looking forward to setting up demonstration gardens for the Pollinator Project.  If you are interested in taking point on organizing a demonstration garden, or would just like to be involved working on the project, contact Mary Thompson at 608-322-4800 or shoot me an email at

Monday, March 6, 2017

Volunteer Opportunity - Spring Gardening for Rock 4-H

Photo Courtesy of UWEX
Kevin Gunn, Club Chair of Rock 4-H, has asked for someone to do a presentation for their 4-H club about Spring Gardening at their meeting on Thursday, April 13, 2017. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.

This is a great opportunity to teach one of your favorite subjects to kids (and adults) in a casual atmosphere. The meeting will be held at Rock Town Hall, 5102 S. County Road D, Afton WI 53501.

Contact Kim by phone or email before March 17, 2017 if you would like to do this volunteer opportunity.

You will get volunteer hours for the time you spend preparing and for the presentation itself.

Reminder - Pollinators 101 - This Thursday

Thursday evening, March 9, the RPMGA is presenting a program on the importance of pollinators - Pollinators 101.
Solitary bee.
We are beginning a series of programs, workshop and community outreach projects to spread the word on the importance of pollinators, the issues that threaten them, and what we can do about it.

As part of Thursday evening's program we'll be hosting a hands-on segment on how to make simple tin-can pollinator hotels for solitary bees.  The plan is that this simple project will engage all who attend and show them how even the smallest endeavor can work to further public awareness and involvement.

Join us Thursday evening in the second floor conference room of the Rock County Courthouse at 5:30.  Bring friends.

This is an approved continuing education project for master gardeners.  You will earn 1 Continuing Education Unit for each hour of participation.

We're looking forward to seeing you.