For more than 25 years, Milwaukee-area gardeners’ go-to person has been Sharon Morrisey, University of Wisconsin-Extension Milwaukee County consumer horticulture agent. On Jan. 31, 2018, Morrisey will step down from her UW-Extension position.
“Sharon has provided university-researched horticulture information to Milwaukee County residents and organizations through group training, at central city garden sites, on televisions and radio, as well as magazines and newspaper articles,” said Eloisa Gómez, UW-Extension Area Extension Director.
Morrisey helped to create and sustain one of the largest groups of UW-Extension Master Gardener volunteers in Wisconsin. In collaboration with the South East Wisconsin Master Gardener Volunteers, she helped the partnership achieve national certification as a Service Enterprise Organization, a designation for organizations that excel at volunteer development and sustainability.
Gómez said, “Sharon also developed an incredible relationship with the Milwaukee media, which allowed her to connect with thousands of gardeners.”
Since 1998 Morrisey has had a successful partnership with the local Fox affiliate on Channel 6 TV referred to as the “Green Thumb Garden” and she presented four live segments on the morning WakeUp News Show each year. The segments all featured UW-Extension based recommended gardening practices having to do with vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits.
“County residents and institutions have benefitted from Sharon’s partnership building efforts,” said County Supervisor Jason Haas.
Morrisey served as the Program Coordinator for the Horticulture and Urban Agriculture program, which partners with various County Departments, especially Parks and Recreation, Boerner Botanical Gardens (BBG), the Mitchell Park Domes, the Wehr Nature Center and the Milwaukee County Zoo – all county owned and operated facilities where UW-Extension provides programs. At BBG, Morrisey, along with UW-Extension and Master Gardener Volunteers provide diagnostic services for the gardening public and offer educational programs for the public. The UW-Extension and Master Gardener Volunteers create and manage a garden at these sites. All the gardens are open to the public and have an educational focus such as native plants, attracting butterflies, reproducing historical plantings, healing or therapeutic or designed for disabled individuals.
In recognition of the work Morrisey has done for Milwaukee County, January 26, 2018 will be designated as Sharon Morrisey Day throughout Milwaukee County by County Executive Chris Abele.