Deb’s story: Master Gardeners educate and rally for firewise gardening

“I’m the tall one with white hair in the orange-y sweatshirt. This was my neighborhood’s first fire fuel reduction event and a great opportunity to talk about firewise gardening.”

“Obtaining Master Gardener certification was my goal for a long time. While I’d gardened most of my adult life, I’d done so in climates much less daunting than that of Central Oregon. While I had learned a lot along the way, I wanted to deepen my understanding of horticultural science. Retirement gave me the time and high desert gardening challenges the impetus to finally pursue it. 

My neighborhood is in the wildland interface on the outskirts of Bend. I have taken what I’ve learned about firewise gardening in the past two years and rallied a group of neighbors into working toward Firewise USA certification. We have worked with our county forester, local fire department and city code department to bring about significant changes in how our common native areas are managed and are educating neighbors on firewise best practices in the design, plant selection and maintenance of their own landscapes.

Several factors related to climate change and drought complicate how any of us should approach gardening. Master Gardeners are increasingly aware of the numerous inconvenient contractions between best practices associated with water-wise, firewise, pollinator-friendly and native plants gardening. In addition to these new gardening challenges many homeowners are first-generation gardeners, eager to create a landscape without the benefit of having had a relative mentor to give them basic guidance. Master Gardeners play an essential role in helping our neighbors and community leaders make good, safe decisions that will help rather than hurt Mother Nature.”

—Deb Goodall, Central Oregon Master Gardener

This is but one of the many stories of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program we’re sharing this month in honor of Dam Proud Day. On April 26, Beavers everywhere will come together to support the things we do best: transformative educational experiences and life-changing research.
We are excited to be raising support specifically for our Seed to Supper program and updating our foundational resource, the “Sustainable Gardening Handbook” to reflect current knowledge. Please join us in gathering your friends and colleagues to give to support the Master Gardener Program on Dam Proud Day, at any donation level. See you (online) April 26th!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *