Status of Face to Face Master Gardener Activities
It has been 136 days since OSU effectively shut down all face-to-face activities, in response to Governor Kate Brown’s ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ executive order. As I take stock of Oregon’s Master Gardener Program, today, I can see that we are gradually and cautiously returning to limited face-to-face activities. Please remember, that all face-to-face programming and non-essential travel during the Modified Operations phase must be approved by your regional director, via the Extension Modified Travel and Programming Request form. Please make sure to cc me on your requests, so that I can continue to keep track of the evolving landscape of the statewide Master Gardener Program.
To date, here are the face-to-face Master Gardener activities that have been approved for county Extension offices in the Modified Operations phase are listed below. Please note that these activities represent low-density, outdoor activities, with the exception of low density Plant Clinics in select Extension offices.
- A trial run of a virtual plant sale has been approved, for potential scaling up of a fall, public, virtual plant sale. Master Gardeners are hosting a ‘closed’ sale, open only to other Master Gardeners, to try and identify and work out potential kinks in protocol that may be issues for a larger, public sale.
- There are two Citizen Science projects that have been approved. In one project, select Master Gardeners will travel to help our state partners monitor invasive pests. In the second project, Master Gardeners will travel to an OSU research farm to help evaluate plant that are part of butterfly bush research project.
- One hybrid training opportunity has been approved. Master Gardeners will participate in self-guided plant identification activities, and will ‘meet’ via Zoom for a follow up session.
- Master Gardeners are working in Extension office plant clinics in two counties. Plant clinics at markets, fairs, retail stores, and other high density public venues are still off-limits, at this point.
- Master Gardeners are working in demonstration and community gardens across the state. Unlike the Restricted Operations phase, when only activities that were focused on critical services for food security and/or facilities maintenance, that approvals have been expanded for counties in the Modified Operations phase to include maintenance of compost piles and worm bins.
Creating Opportunities for Social Interactions and Celebrations
On yesterday’s weekly Zoom call, we discussed how we might thank and celebrate our Master Gardener volunteers, while also adhering to public health and safety guidelines. Here is what we came up with:
- Governor’s Proclamation of Master Gardener Week in Oregon, November 2-6 2020
- Celebratory / Thank You Video featuring OSU administrators, faculty, staff. We’ll be asking high level administrators (Anita and Alan) to deliver messages of thanks. We will cut in video of MG faculty and staff, holding up signs with different thank you messages, and points of celebration/resilience. Will ask LeAnn to help storyboard. Am seeking video production assistance from OSU Faculty Multimedia Services.
- Annual State of the MG Program Address (to be delivered by Gail, as a webinar)
- A three-film Gardening Film Festival. Gardeners can live stream films at home. We will arrange for Q&A with directors, as a Zoom webinar or meeting. Potential Films: The Love Bugs (Entomology Focus), Land Grab or Plant this Movie (Urban Ag Focus), and a third movie that should have a plant focus.
- The week concludes on November 6, with the final Board Meeting of the Oregon Master Gardener Association.
Upcoming MG Coordinators Zoom Meeting Topics
- August 13th: 2021 MG Training Plan, including plan for 2020 trainees who could not complete training.
- August 20th: Developing MG Program Priorities & Values (including workshopping DEI training scenario that we did not get to on July 30th)
August 27th: Open to Your Suggestions, but could be focused on planning and progress for the 2020 Oregon Master Gardener week celebration.