‘Growing and Belonging’ Equity-focused Training Requirements (2023)

As part of your continuing education for 2023 (and beyond), all OSU Master Gardeners (including the 2020 and 2022 cohort) are required to complete at least 1 designated course from the following ‘Growing and Belonging’ options for 2023:

This requirement aligns with our commitment to create a welcoming and inclusive program.


OSU Extension Service strives to provide educational services to all Oregonians. We acknowledge that there are numerous underrepresented Oregonians that have not been equitably served by the Master Gardener program.

The mission, vision, and guiding values of the statewide Master Gardener program provide a compass to address this inequity in public service.

We’ve been working hard to address equity issues under our purview in the metro area Master Gardener program (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties).

OSU Master Gardener Program Equity-focused Mission, Vision, and Guiding Values

Mission: Cultivating resilient and healthy communities throughout Oregon through sustainable horticulture education and gardening projects that are rooted in science and that are supported by OSU Extension volunteers.

Vision: We provide accessible and equitable education programs that nurture life-long learners and volunteers who can expand the reach and impact of science-based sustainable gardening practices to benefit all Oregonians.

Guiding Values: We are connected to Oregon State University, and use both science and local knowledge to inform our community engagement, educational outreach, and horticultural expertise. We strive to make the resources of Oregon State University accessible to all and inspire and encourage lifelong curiosity and learning through continued scientific exploration and discovery.

Implementation of Equity Focus (Metro Area Master Gardener Program)

  • Initiated a quarterly advisory group focused on racial equity issues in the metro area MG program in 2021.
  • Improved application process for the metro area MG program including registration forms/process to make it more welcoming for underrepresented people.
  • Reduced the fee for the metro area MG training (from $495 to sliding scale $200 to $300).
  • Provided equity-focused content in the 2022 Master Gardener training (Inclusive Excellence for OSU Volunteers).
  • Convened an on-going affinity group for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) folks in the metro area MG program. The goal is to build community among BIPOC metro area MG program participants.
  • In 2019 and 2020, four diversity, equity and inclusion trainings were offered to all 750+ metro area Master Gardener volunteers.

Looking Forward, You Can Help

We acknowledge that we have significant work to do for the metro area Master Gardener program to bring forth our equity-focused mission and vision. 

Please join us in creating a welcoming educational and volunteer program:

  • Take the time to welcome new 2020, 2022, 2023 Master Gardener trainees at events. Let them know you’re glad their part of our program.
  • When representing the Master Gardener program, treat other volunteers and the public with dignity and respect.
  • Make efforts to apply an equity focus toward volunteer-led activities including demonstration gardens, plant sales, MG association activities, and more. Reach out to the MG program office for support.
  • Attend an advanced DEI training for BIPOC allies in the MG program (optional, offered in 2023).
  • What are your ideas to improve the MG program’s capacity to welcome and serve all Oregonians?

We look forward to working with you, the metro area Master Gardener community, to meet the garden/landscape information needs of all Oregonians.

Autumn oak leaves, yellow, green, golden.
Photo: Timothy Eberly, Unsplash

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”

– Emily Brontë

Tis the Season for Master Gardener Annual Reporting

Autumn marks the season for annual reporting of volunteer service and continuing education hours for metro area OSU Master Gardeners. All current, certified, metro area Master Gardener volunteers received an email from Marcia McIntyre in September with a survey link to report their hours.

Note: for 2022 the 20-hour volunteer service requirement was waived.  10-hours of designated continuing education hours are required for Perennial Master Gardeners in 2022.

2020 and 2022 cohort members have an additional year to complete their Master Gardener training requirement of 40 hours of volunteer service but please take the time to respond to the survey.

A big shout out of thanks to all who have submitted your hours by answering the survey and uploading your log sheets.  We love seeing where you are serving in the community.

For those who have yet to respond to the survey, please respond, so that you will be kept on the active, certified Master Gardener role. We have extended the deadline to October 31, 2022

In addition to this survey, we sent, via email, the annual Conditions of Volunteer Service document and a Standards of Youth Safety document.  To make the process quick and easy, the documents were sent via DocuSign, from OSU Extension office specialist Catalina Santamaria.

Please answer the survey and return your signed Conditions of Volunteer Service form no later than Sunday, October 31, 2022.

Time remains to fulfill continuing education requirement

Annually 10-hours of designated continuing education hours are required for Perennial Master Gardeners to maintain certified status.  For 2022, we have extended the deadline for fulfilling and reporting the required 10-hours of continuing education until October 31, 2022.

There is a great variety of designated continuing education opportunities to enrich and support you in your role as a garden educator.  Opportunities include webinar recordings that can be accessed from the comfort of your home!  So put your favorite streaming service aside and start binge watching some great designated, garden education presentations.

The following opportunities can be counted as ‘Continuing Garden Education’ hours for Perennial Master Gardeners and can serve as educational enrichment for 2020/2022 cohort trainees.

Video of orange dahlia blooming. From a closed tight bud to full bloom.

OSU Master Gardener Growing Oregon Gardens: Level Up Series –education for the experienced gardener led by OSU horticulture experts from across the state.  Perennial MGs earn 1-hour continuing education credit. Great educational enrichment for 2020/2022 training cohorts.

Designated Master Gardener Association Speaker/Lecture Series/10-Minute U – Perennial MGs earn one hour recertification credit for each designated ‘continuing education’ Speaker/Lecture Series/10-Minute U Noon-time Chats, whether in-person, webinar or recording of a past webinar. 

Look for continuing education designation of two asterisks **, indicating if a Speaker/Lecture Series recording counts as continuing education.

MG Study Group – Time spent participating in the Study Group sessions earn continuing education credit for Perennial MGs, and educational enrichment for 2020/2022 cohort trainees.  Develop your skills identifying and understanding plant diseases, insects, spiders and more. The group meets twice a month via Zoom. All metro area Master Gardeners welcome.  If interested in attending email: tricountymgstudygroup@gmail.com

Read! OSU Extension Service publications. – Perennial MGs earn continuing education credit reading an OSU Extension publication on home gardening topics and submitting a brief report about what you learned to Marcia McIntyre.

Fall Recertification Returns!

Our annual ‘Fall Recertification’ returns this November when we will host 4 webinars highlighting information to support you in your role as an OSU Master Gardener educator. Each webinar will count towards continuing education for 2023. 

An invitation to register for the ‘Fall Recertification’ webinars of your choice will be sent out later in October.

Save the dates.

Wednesday, November 2, 6:30pm
                            Solve Pest Problems
with Weston Miller, metro area OSU Master Gardener Program manager

Thursday, November 3, 6:30pm
                            Introduction to Food Sovereignty
with Cecile Evans, 2020 Master Gardener cohort

Wednesday, November 9, 6:30pm
                           Emerald Ash Borer: ID the Pest, Signs, and Symptoms
with Alex Gorman, OSU Extension Service, Forestry & Natural Resources

Thursday, November 10, 6:30pm
                             Native Plants for Gardens and Pollinators
with Dr. Gail Langellotto, Oregon Master Gardener Program Manager

Master Gardener Trivia

Open to Master Gardeners throughout Oregon this fall and winter, join us once a month for an evening of multiple-choice trivia, all online. With 50 questions per session, learn about timely gardening topics, have fun, and earn valuable prizes.

Each session is good for one-hour Continuing Education Credit in the Master Gardener program.

How it works

Register below for each night you plan to play. Then the night of the event, join via Zoom, and play along via the trivia app “Slido” on your phone or computer. Instructions will be sent upon registration.

There are prizes

  • Valuable prizes each session!
  • 1st place: $100 gift certificate*
  • 2nd place: $50 gift certificate*
  • 3rd place $25 gift certificate

*Gift certificates to mail-order garden companies in the PNW such as Territorial Seed Company, Conifer Kingdom, Heirloom Roses, Noname Nursery, etc. Winners will receive gift certificates approximately one week after each event.

The whole schedule (separate registration for each):

Questions? Contact Nicole Sanchez at nicole.sanchez@oregonstate.edu 

Metro-area Master Gardeners Recognized for Their Service

Each year the three metro area county associations nominate and designate members for special recognition, through an Oregon Master Gardener Association (OMGA) nomination.

We enthusiastically congratulate and extend our sincere gratitude to the following individuals who are being recognized for their extensive contributions as an OSU Master Gardener volunteer! 

Sherry Sheng – OSU Behind the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year!

Image of Sherry Sheng
Sherry Sheng, OSU Behind-the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

We are excited to share that Sherry Sheng has been recognized as the 2022 OSU Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year!  Sherry’s deep commitment to providing quality education to all those interested in gardening is evident in her thousands of hours of volunteer service (logging over 7,500 hours the past 17 years).  Sherry has led the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s, highly successful, 10-Minute University Program for 12 years. With the onset of the pandemic, Sherry realized a deep public need and led the launch of a noontime chat webinar series that engaged over 7,000 viewers from around the world.  Sherry is a generous supporter and champion of the OSU Master Gardener Program. We are extremely grateful to Sherry for her many years of generous leadership and service!  We extend hearty congratulations to Sherry for this well-deserved recognition!

Clackamas County Master Gardener Association

Clackamas County Master Gardener of the Year

Image of Sharon Andrews
Sharon Andrews, CCMGA Master Gardener of the Year

If you know about the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s (CCMGA) events and community education opportunities, it is most likely due to the dedicated efforts of Sharon Andrews. Sharon became a Master Gardener in 2009 and since then she has communicated gardening knowledge and information throughout the Clackamas chapter, the local community and across the country. Her skills in social media, print media, web development and event promotion have helped elevate the CCMGA, including the iconic Spring Garden Fair. She also serves as an OSU Master Gardener educator at the Pioneer Gardens at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

Multnomah County Master Gardener Association

Multonomah County Master Gardener of the Year

Image of Dennis Brown, seated, holding a bucket of fava beans on an outdoor patio.
Dennis Brown, MCMGA Master Gardener of the Year

Dennis Brown is a dedicated Master Gardener who clearly understands the mission and values of the Master Gardener program by educating and inspiring both Master Gardeners and the public. Dennis has initiated innovative partnerships with community organizations developing garden curriculum for under-served communities. Most recently Dennis has been working with individuals experiencing houselessness at the Bybee Lake Hope Center. Dennis makes dozens of gardening presentations annually to community groups and libraries including city of Portland Fix-it Fair, and both the metro area OSU Master Gardener program, and the statewide Growing Oregon Gardeners webinar series.

Multnomah County Behind the Scenes

Image of Cheryl Brock.
Cheryl Brock, MCMGA Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

The challenges and the constraints of the pandemic did not deter Cheryl Brock, who created, developed and implemented a successful educational outreach with the Garden Grow Kit project. The project provided garlic and/or seeds to gardeners and included research-based information and resources to support their success. The project was funded with a Garden Education Grant from the MCMGA. Garden kits were distributed to community gardens with the goal of reaching diverse and under-served community members. In her four years as a Master Gardener, Cheryl is keenly focused on educating others with solid garden guidance.

Washington County Master Gardener Association

Washington County Master Gardener of the Year

Image of Pat Simmons
Pat Simmons, WCMGA Master Gardener of the Year

Pat Simmons views change as an opportunity, not a roadblock. Through her leadership, a new model for education and fundraising successfully developed and launched  for the Washington County Master Gardener Association (WCMGA). Gardenfest! was not only financially successful and well attended, but also engaged 75% of the WCMGA membership. Pat has secured grants and donations, established online sales platforms and assisted in rewriting chapter bylaws and strategic planning. In addition, she established the plant propagation team and served on the board and as OMGA alternative representative.

Washington County Behind the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

Image of Shirley Wolcott
Shirley Wolcott,
WCMGA Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

During Shirley Wolcott’s five years as an OSU Master Gardener, she has served on the WCMGA board, established a monthly recognition program and welcome program for volunteers, and helped survey new members for their skills and interests. She has helped research questions asked by the public to be used as a teaching aid for members. She leads the plant propagation committee and taught Seed to Supper for two years.

Oregon Master Gardener Association News

Image of sunflowers against blue sky with 'The Gardener's Pen' title in foreground.

The Oregon Master Gardener Association’s (OMGA’s) fall issue of the ‘Gardener’s Pen’ newsletter is posted for your reading pleasure. Check out the important updates on the OMGA’s advocacy for improving funding for the Master Gardener Program. https://omga.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Fall2022GardenersPen.pdf

Check out past issues of the Gardener’s Pen HERE.

As an OSU Master Gardener volunteer do you receive questions about damp or soggy landscaped areas? Do you have inquiries about resources for how to convert a lawn space with native plantings?

The Stormwater Stars program focus is to help provide tools and build confidence for people to work on their own landscape spaces to improve watershed health, enhance habitat and reduce the need for harmful lawn and garden chemicals. The basic practices we work with include lawn replacement, depaving, amending soil, porous pathways, contained planters and planting native plants. We host hands on installation workshops in the Fall and Spring to demonstrate these practices on private residential properties, at businesses, or community spaces. We also provide free site visits to homeowners and property representatives to help provide guidance for landscape improvements for watershed health.

Sign up for our Workshops:

People planting plants in open garden bed.

Sign-ups for our free workshops happen through the website. At the workshops we spend a little time introducing what we will be doing that day, and the bulk of the time is spent with our gloves on making the improvements to the site. Every workshop is different and throughout the season we do our best to provide opportunities to learn a variety of different landscaping practices on different size projects.

Sign-ups for our Fall Workshops have begun on our website:


Currently we have one workshop scheduled on November 13 from 1:00 pm – 3 pm in the Crestwood neighborhood of SW Portland.  We will be reviewing how to remove grass and working to replace it with a beautiful landscape using Willamette Valley Native Plants.

What about hosting?

Garden bed with plants, including blooming lupine, plus a mailbox with signs posted on the side: Stormwater Stars, Certified Backyard Habitat, and Pesticide Free Zone.

We are still looking for Fall Workshop locations as well as locations for the Spring and beyond.

Our workshops are open to everyone however workshops are located within the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District service area. The program was started in 2014 and initially focused on locations in SW Portland. We have since expanded the area that we serve and are actively looking to hold more workshops in NW Multnomah County.

For those interested in hosting a workshop, we will come look at spaces in their yard that might be a good fit and what practices could be demonstrated. Our workshop areas are typically about 600 square feet in area, but can vary depending on what the site needs. Workshop projects must be visible to the public, typically in front or side yards. Together we will decide if your space would be a good location to bring in volunteers where we can create and learn together. If your site is selected for a workshop we will work together to make a plan. Each site varies in terms of what is needed, and we provide assistance with design, plant selection, compost and native plants.

Interested in learning more?

Please contact the Stormwater Programs Specialist Rachel Dvorsky with questions or to set up a site visit at hello@stormwaterstars.org. You can also find more information about our program, practices, as well as past projects on our website at www.stormwaterstars.org

We look forward to seeing you at a future workshop!

Stormwater Stars is a program delivered by Neighbors West Northwest and the Westside Watershed Resource Center, in partnership with and funded by generous contributions from West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.