Master Gardeners


The Dodge County Master Gardener Association and Extension Dodge County announce the opening of the “Ask a Master Gardener Helpline”. The Helpline is open during the growing season: May 5-September 4, 2020 on Tuesday mornings 9am-12pm and Thursday afternoons 1-4pm. Clients can send inquiries via EMAIL OR PHONE 920-386-3790. Volunteers will respond back to you in a timely fashion.


The Walk-In option may resume later this year, as soon as we are able, depending upon the development of the COVID-19 Virus Emergency Order status. Also this year: actual, real life samples of your specific plant or insect problems are no longer able to be brought into the office for diagnosis. Rather, clients are asked to email with CLEAR, GOOD QUALITY DIGITAL PHOTOS to help with the identification of your specific plant or insect concerns.

Certified Master Gardener Volunteers can assist gardeners with identifying flowering and nonflowering plants, trees and shrubs, vegetables, insects or plant diseases. Volunteers also help with general gardening practices, information needed to make and keep gardens healthy, growing and beautiful. The Dodge County Master Gardeners normally meet on the fourth Thursday of the month and host educational programs on a wide variety of horticultural topics. Master Gardeners assist UW-Extension staff in sharing horticultural information with the public. They work on a wide array of projects in the Dodge County area by providing gardening support and education to community organizations like nursing homes, schools, historical societies, parks and youth programs. Due to the COVID-19 Virus Emergency Order, both the above monthly meetings and all Master Gardener community projects are suspended, until further notice.

For more information about the Master Gardener program and upcoming educational opportunities, contact the Dodge County UW Extension office at 920-386-3790, visit the website at or connect with us on Facebook.



Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dodge County Fair was cancelled.  Therefore, the Dodge County Master Gardener Association will not be available in that venue to answer questions.  However, volunteers are still available to help Dodge County residents through the Ask A Master Gardener Help Line.  Gardening has seen an upswing this year and we are fielding a number of questions from first-time gardeners as well as veteran gardeners.

Insect issues, plant identification, tree decline, vegetable issues, disease problems, and wildlife management have all been addressed as of mid-June.  So, although we will not be at the Dodge County Fair with our usual booth, we are still here, ready and willing to help.

We are looking forward to being back at the 2021 Dodge County Fair and seeing residents again face-to-face, renewing old acquaintances and making new friends.


The Gardening for Gold Fall Symposium committee met recently and made the very difficult decision to cancel our 2020 event.  The venue we use, Horicon Marsh Education Center, is still closed with no indication of when they might open.  As Master Gardener Volunteers, we are still under a no-contact restriction for any volunteer activity with no idea when that might be lifted either.

We plan to have a bigger and better event in 2021 and are already working on the details.  Most of the sponsors and speakers that we had lined up for 2020 are already on board for 2021.  We are looking forward to reconnecting with you next year, so keep Saturday, November 6, 2021 marked for a wonderful, fun-filled horticultural event in Dodge County.



In 2020 The Dodge County Master Gardener Association had a record number of applications for the annual scholarship.  It was a difficult process to narrow the field, but we are pleased to announce two winners.  Carter Beaulieu and Alexander Coughlin have each been awarded a 2020 Dodge County Master Gardener Association $1000 Scholarship.

Carter Beaulieu, a senior at Randolph High School, plans to attend UW La Crosse and major in Biology and Chemistry, with a career goal in plant research. In high school he has been active in FFA , student council, and athletics. He was named a state winner of Career and Technical Education for the US Presidential Scholars Program. Beaulieu has also volunteered in community activities and has been employed at area Ag businesses throughout his high school years. He also operates his own lawn care business.


Alexander Coughlin, a senior at Watertown High School, plans to attend Iowa State University and major in Agronomy. Coughlin has been an FFA officer and leader including conducting the chapter’s crop plot for three years. Under his leadership the chapter created and organized an annual field day. Coughlin has also been active in community events and was employed as a farm equipment operator, field scout and mechanic throughout high school.

Thank you to everyone who applied.

Each year a $1000 scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior from any public, parochial high school or home school in Dodge County.

The student must have applied to a two or four year accredited college or technical school that has a program leading to a degree or certification in the horticultural area. Careers may include, but are not limited to, teaching, plant pathology, agronomy, agricultural engineer, landscape contractor, or landscape architect.

As part of the scholarship application, the student will be required to write a statement of 300 or fewer words that his/her chosen career will meet the requirement of horticultural or related studies. Additionally, the student will need to provide two letters of recommendation.  The specifics are detailed on the application form.

The 2021 scholarship application information will be posted early in 2021 as well as distributed through the schools.

2021 Scholarship Application Link

Fillable Scholarship Application Link

Application forms are available in the guidance offices of Dodge County area high schools. They include Beaver Dam High School, Dodgeland High School, Horicon High School, Hustisford High School, Lomira High School, Mayville High School, Randolph High School, Watertown High School, Waupun High School, and Central Wisconsin Christian School.



The Dodge County Master Gardener Association meetings for 2020 are held at the Administration Building in Juneau on the 4th Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Gardeners of all stages of expertise are invited!  Come and bring a friend.

2020 Master Gardener Monthly Educational Program Schedule




For veteran gardeners or novices.

If you are a veteran gardener or a novice, and would like to learn more about gardening and landscaping, consider participating in the next Master Gardener Volunteer Level 1 Training Program.

Dodge County UW-Extension will offer a 14-week Level 1 Master Gardener Volunteer Training from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings beginning February 4, 2020 and concluding in early May. Training will be held at the Dodge County Administration Building, 127 East Oak Street in Juneau. Participants are required to attend a mandatory orientation meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the Administration Building. This program is only offered in Dodge County every other year.

The program cost is $150 and includes training, a comprehensive set of UW-Extension horticulture publications, and a one year membership to the local and state organization. The training is open to the general public and participants must be at least 18 years of age. Registration will be on a first come, first served basis and class size is limited to 25 participants. Registration deadline for the class is Friday, January 17, 2020. Acceptance into the class will be contingent upon passing a background check. For more information, call the Dodge County UW-Extension Office at 920-386-3790.

This Dodge County program is not solely internet-based, but rather features a variety of hand’s on labs plus University of Wisconsin specialists and other guest speakers with expertise and knowledge on a wide range of different topics each week including: preparing soils for optimum plant growth, plant propagation, backyard wildlife, landscaping, insect identification & control, annuals & perennials, fruits & vegetables, native prairies, turf grass management, plant diseases, and weed control. Participants are expected to come to class prepared by reading the manual and watching the on-line lecture series. If participants do not have access to a computer, they can make arrangements to use one at the Extension Office.

Successfully completing the training program is the first step to becoming a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer and a member of the Dodge County and Wisconsin Master Gardener Associations. Participants must also complete 24 hours of community service by October of the year after their training. In exchange for training, participants share their time and knowledge in approved education projects in their local area.

Community service work can easily be accomplished through working on local community projects, providing educational assistance and training, or serving with other Master Gardeners at the local Help Line. Dodge County Certified Master Gardener Volunteers work at local public gardens, nursing homes, community beautification and education projects, home show exhibits, county fair displays and much more!

For more information about the Dodge County Master Gardener Volunteer Level 1 Training Program please contact the Dodge County UW-Extension office at 920-386-3790.

The Level 1 Training Registration Form has more information and a clip out section to mail in with payment for class.

Research Update: Jumping Worms and Sleeping Cocoons

Dodge County Administration Building Education Display Garden

MG Gardens (4)The Educational Display Garden at the Dodge County Administration Building in Juneau is looking good. Interested in what’s blooming? All plants are labeled with a plant marker and information about each plant can be found here.


Dodge County Highway Department Education Display Garden

Highway Department 1 HIghway Department Building 2The Educational Display Garden at the Dodge County Highway Department is progressing nicely (it was planted in 2015). All plants are identified with a plant marker and more information on the individual plants can be found here.



Dodge County Bethesda Pollinator Education Display Garden

The Pollinator Educational Display Garden at the Bethesda Thrift Store was planted in 2016.  All plants are identified with a plant marker and more information on the individual plants can be found at this LINK.

The garden at the Highway Department was installed in 2014 and is specifically for an environment with full sun and excessive heat. The plants there are flourishing and blooming beautifully. Native varieties were used extensively, including Adam’s Needle Yucca, Prairie Dusk Penstemon, and more.

The gardens (one on each side of the building) at the Administration Building were installed in 2013 and 2014. They include plants that do well in shade and sun conditions. The gardens have filled out spectacularly and are a feast for the eyes. Many native varieties also adorn these gardens, including Montana bachelor button, cupplant, winterberry, black lace elderberry, and lungwort.

Recently, the Homeschool Youth Master Gardener Association worked at the gardens and learned about deadheading, weed identification, proper pruning, and mulching. Clients utilizing the Help Line often stop at the gardens at the recommendation of the Master Gardener Volunteers to view the plants as a possible addition to their landscapes. Anyone can access information about these plants and their characteristics by clicking the links above.

As an extra bonus, the garden at the Administration Building has a Little Free Library stocked with books and magazines for both children and adults on gardening. A bench conveniently located near the library allows visitors to sit and read while enjoying the beauty of the garden.

The Bethesda Pollinator garden began in 2016 when Dodge County Master Gardener Association (DCMGA) was given the opportunity to take over an existing, but badly overgrown, garden in front of the Bethesda Thrift store in Horicon, Wisconsin. Bethesda Thrift Store has partnered with us and has supported our efforts to develop this space into a pollinator garden for educational purposes.

The first year the primary task was recovering and establishing good pollinator plants in the garden. The Dodge County Bee Keepers Association donated funds in 2017 towards the purchase of plant stakes to help identify the plants. Those stakes are in place as well as a larger sign identifying the garden as a pollinator garden developed and maintained by DCMGA.

Youth classes are held each year on site with training in identifying the plants, the benefits of pollinator gardens, how to maintain the garden, and how to develop one at home. In addition, a list of the plants with photos, their growing requirements, their benefits, and more. is available here so everyone will have easy access to the information.  Questions can be directed to

Little Free Library

Little Free LibraryTake a book ~ Return a book

The DCMGA supports a “Little Free Library” in the east garden. The library will be stocked with garden books for adults and children early spring through fall. It is near a bench where patrons can sit and read while enjoying the gardens. Please feel free to take a book, read it, and return it so we can keep the library going!




  • All-volunteer organization.
  • An outreach arm of Dodge County UW-Extension (UWEX).
  • MG’s are trained volunteers who aid UWEX by helping people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment.
  • Membership is open to the public.
  • The goal of the program is to train enthusiastic volunteers so they can, in turn, provide research-based information on a wide variety of horticultural topics to the general public in their communities.
  • Training Requirements for Certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV):
    • Complete a 36-hour horticultural educational training offered by UW-Extension.
    •  Fulfill volunteer hour commitment.

Get Involved

  • As a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer.
  • Become a “Friend of the Master Gardeners” for only $7/year.
  • Attend Monthly Educational Meetings.
    • Fourth Thursday of the month from January through October.
    • Meetings begin at 6:30 pm and are typically held in the Auditorium Room of the Administration Building located at 127 E. Oak Street in Juneau.  We do, on occasion, have a change of night or venue.
    • The meetings are open to the public and free of charge.

Community Service and Outreach

  • The Dodge County Master Gardeners provide approximately 2800 hours of education, community service and outreach annually.
  • Their volunteer efforts directly and indirectly touch the lives of all Dodge County citizens as they work at nursing homes, historical societies, schools, parks, and youth programs.


  • Late 1970’s – The MG program began in Wisconsin through UW-Extension.
  • 1992 – Local MG groups formed the Wisconsin Master Gardener Association (WIMGA).
  • 2004 – Local MGV’s organized the Dodge County Master Gardeners Association.

Learn More


Carol Shirk, President; Linda Allen, Vice President; Debbie Steinich, Secretary; Donna Klawitter, Treasurer; Rhonda Ritchie, Member at Large.


Dodge County Master Gardener Association has 27 members who achieved certification in 2020 by volunteering a minimum of 24 hours and doing 10 hours of continuing education.  Many of these members far exceeded the minimum in their service to Dodge County.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to provide a photo.  However, here is a list of the members who worked hard to get their certification:

Connie Alderden, Linda Allen, Gae Bergmann, Linda Ernsberger, Jane Erstad, Becky Goodrich, Judy Hagman, Ben Hagman, Diane Hemling, Tina Hopp, Jacque Huebner, Chris Jacobs, Donna Klawitter, Jim Kluetzman, Dennis Loomis, Joan Loomis, Jean Ramer, John Schellinger, Jann Seegert, Carol Shirk, Debra Steinich, Kay Voelker, Caryl Watterson, Helen Weisensel, Cherie Witkowski, Marianne Zastrow, Terry Zimmerlee.


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