The quintessential guidebook for being an OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteer has been updated and modernized. It’s available to read online and download and features all things Master Gardener, including our connection to OSU, the priorities of the program, and policies and guidelines. Access it here.
What does it mean to recertify? What are the continuing education requirements of Master Gardeners? How do we provide gardening recommendations to the general public? What is the relationship between OSU and the county-based Master Gardener Associations?
You’ll find the answers to these questions, and many more, in the updated guidebook, plus links to even more background and items to read. The new version is a more nimble, modernized version, and can easily be updated as needed. Happy reading!
In cohort I of the Master Gardener Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force, the curriculum subcommittee was tasked with “growing the breadth of the Master Gardener curriculum to incorporate cultural practices and multicultural competencies within the program.” This was a huge endeavor and one that will obviously take more time and resources to fully address than was available to the small group of ~15 people that were part of the curriculum workgroup. Nonetheless, this small but mighty group made amazing process across their year of work and study.
The accomplishments of the curriculum subgroup can be broken down into four categories:
Suggestions related to the redesign of specific classes that are part of the Master Gardener curriculum to include a focus on equity, inclusion, and cultural appreciation.
Assembling a list of educators who might be invited guest speakers for Master Gardener classes, conferences, or seminar series.
Assembling a library of resources that can inform culturally-specific gardening instruction and education.
Developing a community agreement that enables us to do our best work, achieve our common vision, and serve our community well.
Currently, the resources that the curriculum subgroup developed and assembled are not publically accessible. As we are starting to think about where cohort II of this task force will spend time and energy, one opportunity might be to format and annotate these curricular resources, and posting them on a publicly accessible website, with instructions or suggestions for how to best adopt, adapt, and integrate these resources into Master Gardener classes. In the meantime, we can provide a glimpse into the type of work that the curriculum subgroup completed, across each of the four categories.
Suggestions related to the redesign of specific classes that are part of the Master Gardener curriculum, to include a focus on equity, inclusion and cultural appreciation.
Group members selected a Master Gardener class topic that they remember, from their own time as a Master Gardener trainee. They made suggestions about different ways that a multi-cultural perspective could be incorporated into the class, and also offered ideas for relevant hands-on activities or field trips.
Another task force member suggested re-envisioning the Master Gardener ‘container gardening’ class to instead focus on Gardening in Small Spaces. The class would specifically address the broader group of people who may not think of themselves as gardeners, but nonetheless appreciate and engage with plants. This course would also dispel the myth about needing land to garden.
A third task force member suggested we incorporate excerpts from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ into a class on Native Plants. Field trips or work parties could focus on native plant conservation and an understanding of the importance of native plants that are gathered during seasonal rounds, to the Northern Paiute people that are now part of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Other ideas included broadening the Vegetable Gardening class to include instruction on cultural growing practices that may be outside of the peer-reviewed literature.
How Cohort II Could Continue This Work: One potential task for Cohort II task force members would be to select one or two of these ideas, and formulate them into a lesson plan, that could be adopted and adapted by local counties.
Assembling a list of educators, who might be invited guest speakers for Master Gardener classes, conferences, or seminar series.
Task force members created a list of speakers that are recognized experts in their field, who could broaden our understanding of indigenous seed and food sovereignty, issues and challenges faced by black farmers and naturalists, and the history of plant biology and horticulture through a socio-cultural lens. This is part of an overall effort to diversify the voices and perspectives that we learn from, and that can inform sustainable gardening practices. This effort has been taken up by members of the 2022 Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Webinar Series. For example, Todd Anderson will be part of the series later this year, and will be teaching us about specialty and culturally relevant vegetables, fruits, and herbs, and how to grow them in Oregon.
How Cohort II Could Continue This Work: Cohort II task force members might continue to grow this list of potential speakers. Also needed are specific guidelines and recommendations related to fair compensation for speakers’ time, knowledge, and talents.
Assembling a library of resources to inform culturally-specific gardening instruction and education.
How Cohort II Could Continue This Work: Cohort II task force members might continue to grow and annotate this list of resources, with an eye on how to make them publically accessible to the other Master Gardener coordinators and volunteers.
Developing a community agreement that enables us to do our best work, achieve our common vision, and serve our community well.
Finally, the curriculum subcommittee developed a community agreement that was an important first step in moving forward with their work. A community agreement is what every person in a group needs from each other and commits to each other in order to feel safe, supported, open, productive and trusting, so that all can do their best work, achieve a common vision, and serve the community well. When thinking about a community agreement, it is important to contrast agreements with the norms and rules that also influence our work.
Agreements are an aspiration, or collective vision, for how we want to be in relationship with one another. They are explicitly developed and enforced by the group, not by an external authority, and as such must represent a consensus.
Norms are the ways in which we behave and are currently in relationship to each other, whether consciously and explicitly or not.
Rules are mandated and enforced by an authority, and do not necessarily reflect the will or buy-in of the group.
Here are the community agreements developed by a working group of the DEI Taskforce in cohort 1. They suggest that we adopt these agreements for our work in cohort 2 of the taskforce. By participating in this work group, all members agree to the following:
I speak for myself: use “I” statements, and do not assume others in the group ascribe to your identity or experience.
Intent vs impact: before sharing, consider how what you say will affect others in the group.
One speaker at a time: when one person talks, everyone listens. Let people know when you are finished talking.
Community wisdom: nobody knows everything, but together we know a lot.
Take space and give space: be mindful of how much you’re participating. If you have been quiet, speak up. If you have dominated the conversation, make space for others to participate.
Confidentiality: details shared in this space stay here, but what’s learned goes with you.
Active participation: it’s better to be open and imperfect than to not participate.
Embrace discomfort and expect non-closure. Learning and growth are stressful: hold space for those feelings.
This is the fourth in a series of posts sharing the work of the first cohort of the Master Gardener Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce. See overview for general information and background. … This subgroup was tasked with understanding who becomes a Master Gardener volunteer, and what is the demographic makeup of the Master Gardener community. To do this, they leveraged available data, from surveys that had been completed in Oregon and other states. The largest and most recent survey results were published by Dorn and colleagues (2018), with nearly 7,500 volunteers and more than 300 program coordinators responding from 35 U.S. states. This survey showed a remarkably consistent lack of racial diversity across the program: 94% of state coordinators, local coordinators, and Master Gardener volunteers identified as white. Most coordinators and volunteers (>70%) identified as female, and 64% of volunteers were retired.
The group also utilized a survey of Oregon’s Master Gardener volunteers that was conducted in 2008 by Weston Miller and Gail Langellotto (Langellotto-Rhodaback and Miller, 2012). This survey also referenced demographic data of the Oregon Master Gardener program, collected by McNeilan (1992, unpublished) and Kirsch and VanderZanden (2001). Interestingly, across all survey years (1992, 2001, and 2008), the racial makeup of Oregon’s Master Gardener volunteers was 95% white. However, there was a shift towards older and away from young Master Gardener volunteers across the three surveys. For example, individuals aged 50 and older represented 65%, 71%, and 74% of respondents in 1992, 2001, and 2007, respectively. Similarly, individuals aged 40 and under represented 16%, 7% and 3% of respondents in 1992, 2001 and 2007, respectively. In 1992, male volunteers made up 42% of Oregon’s Extension Master Gardener volunteer base. In 2001 and 2007, the proportion of male volunteers was 26%.
Contemporary Demographic Data is Needed
Although it was useful for the Cohort I members of the ‘Who Becomes a Master Gardener’ working group to review historical data, they clearly recommended that Cohort II consider doing a new, statewide survey to better understand the current makeup of our Master Gardener community. They suggested that the statewide Master Gardener Program provide assistance with this effort, by paying students to help with survey creation and data analysis. The group suggested that it was important to learn about people’s experiences in the programs, and to conduct exit interviews with volunteers, to understand why people leave.
Ultimately, the subgroup noted that survey data (historical and contemporary) will help us to better drive actions on how to proceed to best support an inclusive and welcoming Master Gardener Program. Data gathered should include quantitative numbers, but also qualitative text that lets folks describe their experiences and perspectives.
Bias Incident Training Exercise
In an effort to utilize the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences CARE document (Community Agreements), this subgroup also created a series of bias incidence scenarios that were piloted in two Master Gardener training programs. The intention of the learning exercise is to foster and support a welcoming place for Master Gardener volunteers and the community in which Master Gardeners interact. Feedback was extremely positive from the two counties that piloted the learning exercise in 2022.
Moving forward, this subgroup recommended that we broadly distribute the learning exercise and develop a Tool Kit to help local program coordinators and Master Gardener Associations understand how to incorporate the learning exercise into annual Master Gardener training and Master Gardener Association Board meetings or retreats. The tool kit would be filled with the bias incidence learning scenarios, and additional resources and suggestions for supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all levels of the Master Gardener Program.
Creating an Inclusive and Welcoming Community
In addition to the great work that the ‘Who Becomes a Master Gardener’ subgroup accomplished, they also left a series of suggestions for Cohort II of the Master Gardener Diversity Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. These include:
Communicate to program leaders, local association leadership, and the OMGA to read and share the posts from this blog. Spread the word that anyone can subscribe to the blog.
Establish direct lines of communication with consistent messaging, related to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts and expectations in the Master Gardener Program.
Task Force subgroups should share their work with each other, more regularly, to avoid duplication of efforts, and to better support each group’s efforts. We should take and share meeting minutes.
Find and support change agents in local communities. These individuals can help ensure the focus of diversity, equity, and inclusion is integrated into various events/programming. Apply this lens to all aspects of a local county programs and/or associations. Have designated individuals to act as a change agent at meetings, fundraisers, special events/projects, demonstration garden planning, and more.
Support a culture of caring, by reserving time at Master Gardener gatherings or meetings to celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion. Ideas include developing and sharing a land acknowledgement, discussing pronoun use, sharing plants and recipes of cultural significance, sharing information about important upcoming DEI events, or highlighting relevant resources that support an inclusive environment.
The State-wide Master Gardener program, local programs, and/or associations should create a book club focused on topics of diversity, equity and inclusion. This could create a safe space for learning more and discussing literature in a thoughtful manner and considering how this can be applied to MG work. Discussion could be beyond books/literature, such as a post on the Culture of Gardening blog.
Establish and nourish community partnerships that support equity, inclusion and diversity within the Master Gardener Program and the community. Reach out to other community groups to partner and learn from. Learn from their experience and learn the gritty details needed to establish trust and true partnership. Cohort II could consider adding to the ‘tool kit’ guidance on how to reach out to community organizations, questions to ask, things to consider for mutually supportive relationships.
Recognize good diversity, equity, and inclusion work within the Master Gardener Program. Perhaps the state Master Gardener program or the OMGA could incorporate this type of recognition in their annual awards.
Develop resources to support Master Gardener associations in making such changes.
And the final advice from this Cohort I subcommittee, as Cohort II begins their work:
The OSU Extension Master Gardener program has revamped, revised, and re-imagined training for new Master Gardeners in 2022 to become more accessible than ever. Mixing the best of both worlds, online training will deliver our top-notch university-level gardening education, with localized and in-person hands-on training workshops organized by county-based OSU faculty.
Why are we doing this?
We’re better meeting community needs: In the summer of 2021, we conducted an extensive community assessment. Findings clearly show the general public wants flexible opportunities to interact, access content and learning on demand, and on their own time. Offering elements of training online and/or in-person will clearly meet that demand in a way we’ve never done before.
Many of our counties are large and have required distant travel to attend trainings. We’re already hearing from new trainees who are excited to finally be able to become Master Gardeners who have not been able to join due to the distance.
On-demand education also means that people with busy schedules can fit the training into their schedules in the way it works best for them.
We’ve lowered the cost, with many counties offering tiered pricing that includes reduced fees and opportunities for scholarships. Tiered pricing includes options for those who want to pay a bit more, to support others who choose the reduced fee option.
COVID is still here: it’s difficult to anticipate what 2022 will look like. Meeting inside, social distancing, and differing county impacts, all make maneuvering with COVID an ongoing challenge. This new model can better meet the need and demand while maintaining flexibility through this changing climate.
Capacity: We currently have a lack of faculty and staff available to teach Master Gardener trainings. Our “people power” is at an all-time low due to retirements and new hires.
Previously, many of our faculty would travel to teach in person, which is extremely time extensive. With the talented faculty we do currently have, they’re able to provide additional support statewide virtually, actually extending and expanding the reach of experts available to Master Gardener trainees.
Better delivery of adult education means more hands-on workshops, less lectures: Instead of using our in-person time for 3-hour lectures, our hybrid training model uses that time for hands-on, interactive, and experiential workshops. Instead of listening to PowerPoints, trainees instead learn from our expert faculty and Master Gardener volunteers in the garden.
Please note that the information referenced on the hyperlinks attached to this report can change rapidly, particularly for COVID guidance from OSU. I am sharing what I know, as of this moment in time. The guidance may very well change, in the near future.
Updates from OSU Extension
Dr. Ivory Lyles will start his tenure as Vice Provost of Outreach and Engagement, and Director of the OSU Extension Service, on September 30th.
The COVID-19 Safety Training for OSU Extension offices is being updated. It had been required for volunteers, participating in face-to-face programs and projects. I don’t yet know how it will be rolled out or required, in the future. But, as staying safe in the workplace is a high priority, I would hope that this training will be put to good use within the Master Gardener Program, and across all Extension programs.
OSU-managed, indoor, face-to-face programs and activities can proceed, where registration (day of or pre-registration) occurs.
OSU-managed, outdoor, face-to-face programs and activities can proceed, where registration (day of or pre-registration) occurs.
Where MGs might be participating in events not managed by OSU:
employees and volunteers are expected to follow OSU policy and OHA public health recommendations (regarding face coverings, for example), but we can’t impose our guidelines on events and activities that are managed by community partners.
we can opt not to participate in community partner events, in the interest of public health and safety.
2022 Master Gardener Awards
Nominations for county and statewide Master Gardener awards are due on May 15th, every year.
The 2022 nominations forms will be posted online. This will make it easier to track nominations, as they are submitted. The current system of sending them through email makes it difficult to manage, given the amount of email volume that Gail receives.
Please make sure that your county Master Gardener groups knows that they should start discussing potential nominees WELL IN ADVANCE of the May 15th deadline. I would suggest putting it on the agenda in January or February of each year, making final decisions in March of each year, and then using April to write up nominations.
Communicate with your Master Gardener coordinator throughout the process. Double check and cross check that everyone is on the same page, when it comes to the name(s) that will be submitted for awards.
2022 Master Gardener Training
Counties are currently planning for recruitment of 2022 Master Gardener trainees, and delivery of the 2022 Master Gardener training classes.
Many/most counties are planning for hybrid (online and in person) training options, that allow greater flexibility and opportunity for participation. The online options are also a safe option, given instructors’ and students’ (or potential students’) concerns about COVID. Your specific county program can share the details of their training series.
New in 2022: the statewide Master Gardener program office is developing:
a module that goes over the statewide policies and expectations, related to volunteerism with OSU and in the Master Gardener Program. This module is intended to serve as an orientation for new Master Gardener students, but will also serve as a good reminder/update for continuing Master Gardener volunteers. The module is required for all new Master Gardener trainees, and recommended / required (we haven’t settled on this, yet) every 2-3 years for continuing MG volunteers. This module will include information on:
What does it mean to be a MG: Representative of the University; Recognition of advanced training and study; Expectations for superior customer service and support
Required Paperwork: Code of Conduct, Conditions of Volunteer Service Form (every year), PD, OSU College of Ag Sciences CAREs document.
Our commitments to protecting children.
Criminal History Checks (every two years?): Why they are required. What happens during the Criminal History Check Process.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse: an abridged training from the Office of Youth Safety
Volunteer Service Hour Requirements: What counts as volunteer hours? How to record volunteer service hours. Why the volunteer hour reporting is important.
A module that grows the community education component of the Master Gardener Program. Master Gardeners learn sustainable horticulture from Oregon State University and extend this information to local communities by serving as volunteers community educators. The Volunteer Community Educator Curriculum helps prepare new and continuing volunteers for this role. It will be required for new trainees, as well as for recertification of continuing Master Gardener volunteers. We anticipate offering a menu of options that individuals can participate in to satisfy this requirement, most of which are one hour or less, in length.
Master Gardener volunteers who are active on the statewide or on local diversity, equity, and inclusivity committees can apply their work in these groups towards meeting the training or recertification requirement.
OSU Extension’s DEI training for volunteers (4 modules, about 1 hour of total time, in length: Introduction, Equity, Inclusivity, and Conclusion)
Recipes for Collaborative Communities course (from the Elevated Skills Training Series that was offered in 2021, through Thinkific)
Broadening Outreach with Community Partnerships (from the Elevated Skills Training Series that was offered in 2021, through Thinkific)
Webinar from OID: to be scheduled by and delivered through the statewide office.
OSU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration Keynote or associated events
Events organized by the Master Gardener DEI Task Force Events committee
Dates to Remember
Ongoing, Second Tuesday of Each Month: Level Up, Growing Oregon Gardeners Series. Remaining classes for 2021 include: native plants (September), climate change (October), and garden soils (November). The series will return in January of 2022.
September 12-17, 2021. International Master Gardener Conference: September 12-17, 2021. Registration has closed, but perhaps I will see some of you there?
September 25, 2021: Fall Master Gardener BioBlitz: One fall day to document garden biodiversity in Oregon. Join us with your camera on September 25, 2021 to capture the insects, birds, wild plants, and other wild organisms in your garden or a nearby community or public garden space.
Save the Date!: November 10, 2021: The Extension MG DEI Task Force Events Subcommittee is hosting a screening of the film ‘Gather’, at 7pm on November 10th. A 30 minute panel discussion will follow, featuring Dr. David Lewis of OSU. More details will be forthcoming. Please share this Save the Date with Your Volunteers.
May 15, 2022: Master Gardener Awards nominations are due.
Culture of Gardening Blog. If you and your Master Gardeners have not yet seen the new ‘Culture of Gardening’ blog, please take a look. We have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from diverse communities, who are happy to broaden their understanding of diverse identities and cultures . . . and how these identities intersect with plants and gardening:
Master Gardener Photography Contest: Please make sure to communicate with your Master Gardeners colleagues about the fun opportunity to participate in our first ever photography contest, currently open for submissions, through October 25th. Now is a great time to capture in photos the bounty of the summer harvest, the beauty of our demonstration gardens, and all of the hard work MGs are putting in in the community.
Recruitment Materials: Priorities, Values, Mission, Vision One Pager (double-sided): You can learn more about the Master Gardener Program on our website, and can share this information with prospective Master Gardener volunteers who want to know more. We also have a one-pager (double sided) that can be used to talk about our program.
We will be calling for applications for the 2nd Cohort of the Master Gardener DEI Task Force. The call for applications will go out in early 2022, with new members joining the cohort in April 2022.
If you are an Oregon Master Gardener volunteer, and haven’t already checked out the 2021 Elevated Skills Trainings for Master Gardener volunteers, now is the time to do so. Altogether, the 14 classes that are being offered have over 3,000 combined enrollments! Seven classes have already opened, and the other seven will open over the coming weeks.
Although the courses, themselves, will remain open for self-paced learning that you can complete at your own pace, and when it is most convenient to you ~ the discussions boards will only be monitored, and instructors will only be available to comment on your assignment submission, through the end of April.
Early reviews for the courses include this note about the Woody Plant ID course: “Plant ID has been my nemesis for my 12 years as a Master Gardener. I pushed through. When we got to the plant ID tool I felt like a whole new and wonderful world opened up for me. I honestly am excited about identifying plants with this tool as a guide. This has me stoked and I have never been “stoked” in my life.“
Please Note: We have changed the original guidance on CEUs for the Elevated Skills Training. Instead of one hour per course taken, you can count and report your actual time in each class, as your number of CEUs. In other words, if a class took you two hours, you can count two CEUs. If a class took you three hours, you can count three CEUs.
I am also working with MG coordinators to see if any part of course participation (such as time spent on the hands-on assignments and practical application of knowledge) can count towards required volunteer service hours. Stay tuned.
Want to sign up for classes? Visit THIS LINKfor a full list of courses with enrollment links.
Overview of 2021 Elevated MG Skills Training and the Learning Platform Thinkific This class is required pre-requisite for any other course in this series. Get to know the format we’re using for this series, how classes are set up and how to navigate through them, and where to turn with questions. ENROLL HERE
Zoom Basics Opens January 29th Zoom is Oregon State University’s official video conferencing platform, and is currently used by Extension Master Gardener faculty, staff, and clients for online meetings, events, and webinars. This module will cover the Basics of Zoom, and is aimed at current Master Gardener volunteers who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with Zoom. Zoom Basics will cover what you need to know to be a participant in a Zoom meeting or webinar. REGISTER HERE
Advanced Zoom Opens January 29th Advanced Zoom is aimed at current Master Gardener volunteers who want to step up their Zoom capabilities, by hosting interactive meetings, serving as a session moderator for your Master Gardener chapter’s virtual conference or monthly speaker series, or serving as presenter of gardening information during a webinar or other gardening event. REGISTER HERE
iNaturalist for Master Gardener Volunteers Opens February 6th iNaturalist is one of the world’s most popular nature apps. This class will help you engage with the iNaturalist community, connect with other gardeners on our iNaturalist project page, and learn to identify the wild plants and animals around you, Although iNaturalist can be used to identify a broad diversity of organisms, this particular class will focus on insects and wild plants. Note: if you are interested in taking this class to learn to identify insects, and will be using a cell phone to take and upload images to iNaturalist, you may want to consider purchasing an inexpensive macro lens that can help you capture better images of small insects. REGISTER HERE
Garden Woody Plant ID with the OSU Landscape Plants Database Opens February 5th Plant identification is vital for a variety of things, from ensuring your garden thrives to helping clients at the Plant Clinic figure out what plant they are working with. This module will introduce you to the OSU Landscape Plants Database. We’ll go through the database together to learn how you can use this simple but very effective tool for identifying woody plants in your landscape, or those of clients. REGISTER HERE
Best Practices for Online Plant Clinic Opens February 12th As a Master Gardener volunteer or trainee, you’re familiar with the role and function of in-person plant clinic. Your county may have recently adopted or may be in the process of adopting an online or remote plant clinic. In this online environment, some may find it challenging to research problems and communicate with clients and fellow volunteers. In this short course, you will gain knowledge and skills that connect your existing plant clinic skills to tools in your county’s online plant clinic. This course is suitable for all levels of experience with plant clinic. REGISTER HERE
Learning How to Use the Extension Client Contact Online (ECCO) Tool in Plant Clinic Opens February 12th In this course you will learn how to use the Extension Client Contact Online (ECCO) tool, an online record keeping tool and database for your plant clinic clients. This module will cover how to set up a login, how to enter a new client’s information and their question(s), and how to use the database to search out clients, or specific questions using filters such as plant name, keyword or questions topic. Additionally, this tool has a built in guide that can help improve your skill set in diagnosing plant damage. REGISTER HERE
Taking Your Master Gardener Social Media to the Next Level Opens February 19th Social media offers many opportunities for OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers to promote and share local events and meetings, but it also can connect gardeners in your region to a plethora of resources and is a great form of community building. In this course we’ll go deeper into how to use Facebook to connect with broader audiences, and we’ll tap into Instagram and even Nextdoor. We’ll identify how to enact the great skills we have in-person with the public to social networking platforms, and how to work as teams with other Master Gardener volunteers to coordinate your efforts. Maybe you’ll be the next big influencer! REGISTER HERE
Best Practices in Youth Gardening Programs Opens February 26th As a Master Gardener volunteer, you will have the opportunity to work with youth in the garden. This module will cover the basics of Oregon State University’s Youth Safety & Guidelines, youth developmental stages, understand your role in building partnerships with youth, and develop garden-based education activities according to youth’s developmental stages. This short module is suitable for all Gardener volunteers with or without experience working with youth. REGISTER HERE
Superpower Your Educational Garden Opens February 26th This module is designed to inspire! We’ll be showcasing innovative educational outreach happening in educational gardens across the state (and beyond). We will share ideas for online outreach strategies to boost engagement with your demonstration/learning gardens and/or community gardens. Plus we’ll explore best practices to create engaging garden learning opportunities for both seasoned and newer Master Gardener volunteers. This module is organized by Brooke Edmunds (Extension Horticulturalist in Linn and Benton Counties) and Marcia McIntyre (Program Representative in the Portland metro area) and features a panel discussion with Master Gardeners from the Central Oregon, Multnomah and Washington County programs. REGISTER HERE
Community Science and the Master Gardener Program Opens March 5thNEW Opening Date: March 26th Community science is a type of scientific research or monitoring, where science professionals work closely with individuals or community groups to leverage local knowledge and insights, social learning, and collective action to help discover and disseminate new knowledge. Master Gardener volunteers are active and excellent collaborators on many community science projects across Oregon, and science professionals regularly seek out opportunities to work closely with Master Gardener volunteers on new projects. In this module, we explore how science works and how it relates to your garden. The overall aim is to deepen your understanding of the scientific process, and introduce you to several projects that you might participate in as a community scientist. REGISTER HERE
Showcase Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Efforts in Other States Opens March 12th You’ll have a chance to see how other states are overcoming barriers and creating new pathways to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and how new audiences are being reached through the Master Gardener program. Find out what you can take back to your county! REGISTER HERE
OSU Extension’s Diversity Training for Volunteers Opens March 12th More information to come. This class has been postponed. An update will be posted, as soon as it becomes available.
Recipes for a Collaborative Community Opens March 15th Master Gardener programs around the state involve a wide-range of volunteers, partner organizations, and community clients. How everyone works together can contribute to the success or detriment of a project/program. What is the “secret sauce” to achieve a successful, collaborative community? A community that achieves shared goals and keeps people coming back and participating. REGISTER HERE
Building Community Partnerships to Broaden Outreach Opens March 19th We’re stronger together: grow and expand who you work with in the community by developing effective community partnerships. In this course you’ll learn how to identify possible partners, how to engage in partnerships, identify possible funding, and learn from other partnerships across Oregon and the country. We’ll look at examples of both rural and urban partnerships, get inspired, and chart a plan for growing effective partnerships. REGISTER HERE
Connect with Other Oregon Master Gardeners During the 10-Week Course Period
If you are on Facebook, you may want to consider joining the private group that we have set up to coincide with this 10-week training period. Connect with other Master Gardeners, ask questions, or share observations.
This monthly zoom series kicks off in January, offering education for the experienced gardener led by OSU horticulture experts from across the state. Take your gardening knowledge to the next level with timely topics from gardening in a changing climate to techniques to extend your season.
Ready to gather new skills to elevate your Master Gardener volunteerism? Through Elevated Skills Trainings, Master Gardeners will learn how to use new tools for garden plant ID, advance your zoom or social media skills, and learn about community science within the Master Gardener program, as just a few examples. We’ll be using an online training tool named Thinkific, which is the same platform we’ve used to deliver the COVID Safety Training and the Celebrate Master Gardener Week. Each week, a new lesson will open for you to work through, on your own time, and at your own pace. Each lesson is optional: you can take whichever ones interest you. Once a lesson is open it will remain open for the rest of 2021, meaning you can take it at any time.
late January-late March 2021
online learning platform Thinkific
Current Master Gardeners (including 2020 trainees)