Master Gardener Volunteer Training

                         Marinette and Oconto Counties

The Master Gardener program is all about helping others in the local community. The classroom sessions train you in how to find answers to gardening questions through the use of research-based material from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. Trainees complete hours of volunteer time at one or more of the approved projects in the area to become certified MGVs.  For information on the Wisconsin Master Gardener program, go visit the state website Wisconsin State Master Gardener Program

For more information about the Master Gardener Training or the local association (Northern Lights Master Gardener Association), e-mail Scott Reuss.  You may also call the office at 715-732-7510, toll free 877-884-4408.


Most sessions will have either a hands-on/or an outdoors portion and some sessions (when the weather is nice) will be held at Harmony Arboretum.

 Topics covered in Master Gardener Training include:

  • Plant Biology & Morphology
  • Soils & Soil Health
  • Woody Landscape Plants
  • Fruit Crops
  • Composting
  • Herbs
  • Lawn Care Flower-garden_opt
  • Plant Propagation
  • Backyard Wildlife
  • Perennials and Annuals
  • Vegetables
  • Using Native Plants
  • Weed Management & Invasive Plants
  • Entomology
  • Plant Diseases

To complete an annual re-certification, 24 hours of volunteer time is needed plus 10 hours of continuing horticulture education.

The possibilities for volunteering are limited only by your own ideas and time.  Whether you like working most with people or with plants, there are activities that you can do to fulfill the volunteer hours requirement.



Annual Association Reports

Review some of the highlights of what Master Gardener Volunteers do in our area from each of these past years:
2017 (pdf format)
2016 (pdf format)
2015 (pdf format)
2014 (pdf format)

       Visit NLMGA on Facebook


Events sponsored and supported by Northern Lights Master Gardener Association

Members volunteer time and efforts in many different ways to help make each event successful

Spring Garden Conference

This day-long event inspires everyone to think spring and learn new tips & tricks for the coming season.  This program of educational classes is for the public held at UW Marinette Campus.

Garden Walk

Join us in this exciting community event.  Gardens of all types will be showcased.  These gardens will dazzle you with their fabulous displays of flowers, intrigue you with garden art/ structures and inspire you with vegetable gardens and fruit orchards.


Applesauce, apple cobbler, and apple pie are just the start of the wondrous foods that utilize Wisconsin’s favorite tree fruit.  In addition to discussions on apple harvest, preservation, and cooking tips, we’ll taste test different apple cultivars & numerous apple incorporating recipes.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own favorite apple based treat.

Halloween Family Fun Fest

The family event for kids of all ages.  A few spooky things to keep you guessing, and enough activity choices to keep all family members busy and active for your entire visit.  Hands -on nature crafts and pumpkin carving for children and adults.  A local 4-H group will have refreshments available for purchase for a club fundraiser.

Breakfast on the Farm

Annual all-you-can-eat and family-oriented activities event.  Check out Breakfast on the Farm Facebook page or the website for more information.

Marinette County Fair

UW-Extension office educators will again have an extensive display of the many areas of expertise that they offer to the public.  Northern Lights Master Gardeners will also be available for horticulture questions.


 Master Gardener Demonstration & Display Gardens – Harmony Arboretum 

Harmony greenhouse

Pavilion and Greenhouse at Harmony Arboretum

If you are in the Marinette area, take some time to visit our demonstration gardens which are part of the Harmony Arboretum @ N3890 County E, Peshtigo, WI.  The Master Gardeners’ display and demonstration garden is  a 3-acre area protected by a wildlife-excluding fence.

It is always open to the public – but please close the gate!

The variety of gardens include:

  • Perennial garden at the entrance
  • Formal herb garden with well over 100 different herbs
  • 40 raised beds containing vegtables
  • Shade garden
  • Water feature
  • Certified Monarch Waystation
  • Enabling garden
  • Childrens Learning Garden
    • sensory garden
    • wetlands
    • beaver pond and lodge
    • chipmunk tunnel
    • living maze
  • Glass hobby greenhouse
  • Fruit Tree Orchard
  • Bird Habitat

There are also a number of smaller demonstrations showing phenology, lawn establishment & management and pollinator habitats.