Master Gardener Volunteers who were certified in 2019 or 2020 (meaning that they completed required educational and volunteer service hours) can carry over their certification to 2021, and are eligible to receive recertification stickers for their badge. Current Master Gardener certification is required to work in the plant clinic, teach workshops, or write articles on behalf of OSU.
Master Gardener Volunteers are eligible for the 2021 training program, which will be focused on skills building for current Master Gardeners. This includes 2020 students and will be offered at no charge.
What now? What do I need to do to continue as a Master Gardener Volunteer in 2021?
Complete OSU’s required “Conditions of Volunteer Service Form.” Your local Master Gardener Program coordinator distributes and collects forms, each year. Please wait until you receive the notice from your local Master Gardener Program coordinator, to fill out and file your annual paperwork.
Complete 10 hours of continuing education*
Complete 20 hours of volunteer service*
*If limited volunteer activities are available in 2021, as a result of COVID or other factors, this requirement may be suspended.
In order to make more continuing education (CE) opportunities available to Master Gardener Volunteers we are now officially approving CE credit for reading approved research-based publications that relate to sustainable gardening. These publications will provide in-depth information on a variety of gardening topics that volunteers can draw on when working in the plant clinic or providing community education. In addition this process will encourage volunteers to read OSU and other research-based publications with the added benefit of familiarizing volunteers with up-to-date resources that can be shared with clients.
Each publication will qualify for one hour of CE.
Some publications may take more or less time to read but 60 minutes is a good average.
How to determine if a publication qualifies for CE.
Publications from the following sources are generally deemed appropriate: OSU Extension Catalog, other Extension Services, governmental organizations (i.e. Department of Agriculture, USDA, etc.).
Where possible, OSU publications should be given preference. Publications should relate to sustainable gardening, home horticulture, or backyard and local food production. Coordinators may want to provide a list of suggested and approved reading with web links. This will make it easy for volunteers to access the publications and should prevent them from finding out of date publications that have been archived.
How to receive credit for reading research-based publications.
We want to ensure that you carefully and comprehensively read each publication, so that you are able to incorporate your new-found knowledge in your volunteer activities, as well as in your own garden. For each publication that you read, please report the following information in the Volunteer Reporting System (VRS), or turn in the following information to your Master Gardener coordinator.
Author. Year. Title. Publication Number or other identifying information.
Where you found or accessed the Publication
What is the overall goal of the publication?
List three things that you learned from reading this publication.
List two ways you can use this information in your volunteer service and/or your own garden.
Report 1 hour of CE per publication, in the VRS system (or the reporting system used in your county).
Jones and Sells. 2004. Rufous hummingbird. EC 1570.
This publication teaches people about rufous hummingbird life history, behavior, and habitat.
Rufous hummingbirds migrate to warmer climates in the fall, because there is no nectar in northern climates in fall and winter. In fact, they follow manzanita blooms as they migrate. I had thought that they migrate because they can’t tolerate cold weather (which is probably also true, but I had not considered the nectar connection).
Rufous hummingbirds use spider webs to ‘glue’ together their nest materials. So cool!
Hummingbirds can live up to 5+ years. I had thought that their small size and high metabolism would promote a shorter lifespan.
I will use this information to:
Tell people what to plant for hummingbirds: bleeding hearts, red-flowering currant, salmonberry, columbine, fushias, orange honeysuckle.
Encourage people to consider how their cat might be impacting hummingbird populations.
Updates from the Statewide Master Gardener Program
MG Instructor Database: for those of you searching for instructors for your 2019 MG classes, please remember that the list of MG instructors is annually updated, and housed in the ‘Master Gardener Program’ on Box. If you need access to this folder, please let me know. Specifically, the Excel file with the list of MG Instructors is in the sub-folder called ‘MG Basic Training Resources’, which can be accessed via https://oregonstate.box.com/s/alop5gv86az1q5zjscomgghds1v4y2mn
MG Core Courses: Signe Danler recently sent out a information on how to access online Master Gardener modules, to supplement your in-person MG trainings. The required classes for MG training (Oregon MG Program, Botany Basics, Understanding Pesticides) are FREE for use. Other modules are available on a sliding scale ($50-$150 per module). If the sliding scale is out of your range, but you are interested in using an online module, please let us know. We charge a modest price to help cover basic program costs, but want to be flexible for counties without resources.
MG Re-certification Stickers: I have 2019 Re-certification Stickers to send out for veteran MGs who have completed at least 10 hours of continuing education and 20 hours of approved volunteer service. If you have not already done so, please let Gail know (via email) how many stickers you need for your Master Gardener Program. They will go out in next week’s mail.
Best Management Practices for MG Plant Sales: I have received feedback on our first draft from our task force. My goal is to synthesize all comments into a revised draft, by the end of this week (October 12th).
2018 CHAP Update: The 2018 Consumer Hort Advisory Panel came up with three recommendations to make annual MG trainings more fun, interactive, and accessible. These recommendations were to: a) move towards active learning in MG training classes; b) consider ways to keep costs low for MG trainings (scholarships, payment plans); c) lower the minimum number of required volunteer service hours for new MG trainees, to 55 or fewer hours. You can see the full description of recommendations on the hypertext entitled CHAP DRAFT Recommendations April 2018 on this page. At our working group meeting in July, recommendations 1 and 2 were adopted. Recommendation #3 received majority support, but there was still a lot of concern related to this recommendation. We are thus tabling this third recommendation, for the moment.
Working Group Innovation Grant Funded: Several Home Hort working group members advanced a proposal for a two-day retreat, to carefully consider what changes are needed to build a more inclusive EMG Program, but also how to implement change. Our Innovation Proposal for the Home Hort Working Group was funded!!! We are targeting May or June for the actual two-day retreat. Keep an eye out for the first step in this effort ~ a survey of MG coordinators.
Professional Development Opportunity, “Achieving the Extension Mission through Volunteers“: an instructor-led, online course offered by the University of Minnesota. This course has received positive reviews from other Extension Master Gardener coordinators. The cost is reasonable ($250), but the timing coincides with Oregon’s Master Gardener training. Topics include ‘Identifying and Recruiting Volunteers’, ‘Selecting and Matching Volunteers’, ‘Supporting Volunteers’, and ‘Communicating Public Value’. If you are interested in taking this course, but cost is an issue, please let Gail know.
Another opportunity for Master Gardener Continuing Education Credits. Remember that 10 CEUs are needed to satisfy Master Gardener recertification requirements in Oregon.
Discussing pesticides with the public can be tricky, even for trained professionals. Master gardeners are on the front line, providing information directly to the public on a wide range of topics. In this webinar, pesticide specialists with the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) will provide resources that master gardeners can use to navigate these conversations. We will discuss topics including protecting pollinators from pesticides, comparing organic and conventional pesticides, how to minimize exposures to pesticides, and how individual risk perception influences behavior. Join us for live Q&A after the presentation.
In reading through the survey responses coming in for our CHAP survey, it is becoming obvious that:
1) many veteran MG volunteers express frustration at not having options to maintain their MG certification ~ particularly for the continuing education requirement. To maintain certification, volunteers need to accrue 10 hours of continuing education and 20 volunteer service hours, annually.
2) many of these same folks seem not to know about the Advanced Training webinars that Brooke Edmunds has put together. These webinars are all eligible for MG continuing education credit (one hour per class). The 2018 webinars and the 2017 webinars, combined, equal nine hours of continuing education credit ~ just one away from meeting the continuing education recertification requirement.
Please make sure that your veteran MGs know about this option.