Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.

Henry David Thoreau

Grateful for your Commitment and Passion

In a year filled with tremendous challenges, we extend our deep gratitude to the metro area OSU Master Gardener volunteers for your generous dedication and passion to serve the community as a garden educator.

With our in-person community outreach put on hold, you stepped up to expand your horticulture knowledge. You learned the art of Zoom attending our metro Master Gardener Garden Webinar Series en masse, Chapter Lecture/Speaker Series, and other OSU MG continuing education opportunities.  You have shown your strong commitment to garden education rooted in science!

Master Gardener Will Hughes with the produce he and Kathy Krentz grew for donation to a community food bank.

The pandemic did not hold back Master Gardeners from serving their community.  You reached out to your neighbors and fellow Master Gardeners to check on their well-being.  You grew vegetables at home to donate to food banks.  Even with the challenge of a severely shortened season, Chapters grew a remarkable amount of produce at their community demonstration gardens, for those experiencing food insecurity.

Master Gardeners juggled work from home, managed home schooling, cared and watched out for family, neighbors, and friends; and served as dedicated front-line essential workers.  Your efforts and care confirm your commitment to serving your community!  We are grateful to you all!


2020 Survey Response

Thank you to all those perennial Master Gardeners who took the time to answer the brief survey that Marcia McIntyre sent out in October.  Even though we have suspended annual volunteer requirements, we appreciate you reporting your volunteer and continuing education hours.  Plus, the remarkable amount of produce you grew and donated to area food banks.  This will enable us to report all your valuable contributions to OSU.  Thank you also for submitting your signed Conditions of Volunteer Service.  Now you are ready for our 2021 Elevated Master Gardener Training (see details in article below)!

Utmost appreciation to our class of 2020 for your patience, excitement and passion for learning and community service!  We don’t need you to submit a report this year – but please be sure to answer the survey Marcia McIntyre sent out in October, which offers three easy methods for signing the Conditions of Volunteer Service. A signed and submitted form has you ready to participate in our 2021 activities.

To those Perennial Master Gardeners and those in the Class of 2020 who have not responded to the survey, please take the time to respond by Friday, November 13th, so we know you are committed to continuing in the Master Gardener program in 2021.


Our Garden Webinar Series Continues

Adult spotted lantern fly. Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Our metro area Garden Webinar Series continues in November and December, with two special presentations from Jessica Rendon, PhD., from the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  Jessica will highlight invasive insect species that are important for Oregonians to know about, including the Asian giant hornet, Japanese beetle, and Southern pink moth, to name just a few. 

Friday, November 20th, 1PM
Part 1 – Invasive Species Threatening Oregon! What to Look For and How to Help. The first session will cover Gypsy Moth, the Again Giant Hornet, Jumping Worms, and the Southern Pink Moth. To register for Part I, go to… https://beav.es/oBh

Friday, December 4th, 1PM
Part II – Invasive Species Threatening Oregon! What to Look For and How to Help. This session will cover the Japanese Beetle, the Spotted Lanternfly, the Houdini Fly, Lily and Viburnum Leaf Beetles, and finally the Allium Leafminer! To register for Part II, go to… https://beav.es/oHU


Celebrate Master Gardener Week in Review

It was wonderful that so many Master Gardeners were able to participate in the state-wide Celebrate Master Gardener Week last month.  We hope you enjoyed the Film Festival, film discussions, and Insect Trivia night.  We are grateful to you all for the tremendous dedication you bring to the OSU Master Gardener Program.  You are amazing! 

In case you missed either…below is a our state-wide thank you video from OSU Extension faculty and staff, along with State-wide Master Gardener Coordinator, Dr. Gail Langellotto’s annual Master Gardener Program Update.

Master Gardener Program Update – with Gail Langellotto, Ph.D

Thank you Master Gardeners!


Master Gardeners Sowing and Growing in 2021

State-wide OSU Master Gardener faculty and staff are busy developing engaging, interactive curriculum for our 2021 Elevated Master Gardener training. This exciting new programing will be offered to both Perennial Master Gardeners and our Class of 2020 trainees, around the state. This is an opportunity for Master Gardeners to enhance your gardening know-how “via a combination of self-paced learning and live webinars and online conversations with OSU experts.” Learn more about this innovative new curriculum, that will be offered starting in January of 2021 HERE.  Be sure to submit your 2020-2021 Conditions of Volunteer Service form now, so you are ready to go in January.


Webinar Recordings Work with Your Schedule

Do you have a schedule conflict with an upcoming webinar?  Don’t despair!  We are posting recordings of many of our webinars in the days following the presentation.  Recently fellow Master Gardener, Dennis Brown, kindly inspired us with tips for what to do in our vegetable gardens in the fall. 

To see Dennis’ Fall Vegetable Gardening Tips Webinar, along with other past webinars visit: https://beav.es/4FR


Fine-tune Your Garden Know-how

The metro area Master Gardener Program has two great opportunities for you to fine-tune your garden know-how; the Tri-county MG Study Group and the Washington Co. Master Gardener Chapter’s Learning Group. Consider joining-in to expand your garden knowledge in the company of fellow Master Gardeners.  Both groups are currently meeting via Zoom and are open to current Master Gardeners and 2020 Master Gardener trainees.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Price

Tri-county MG Study Group
The
Tri-county MG Study Group is dedicated to taking a deep dive into a range of horticulture subjects and gardener practices.  The group meets twice a month on the first and third Mondays, from 1pm to 3pm.  The first Monday session is a fun and interactive ‘Show and Tell’ where attendees can bring one insect or plant for identification, or a garden triumph or problem to share with the group.  Group members assist with identification or problem solving. The second Monday session takes a fine focus on a specific horticulture subject.  Participants receive a study guide prior to the session in preparation.  Tentative upcoming 3rd Monday topics will cover ‘Group Diagnostics’, ‘What does reliable, research-based, peer review mean’, ‘Household Insects’, ‘Pine ID’,  ‘Verticillium Wilt’, ‘Plant Viruses’, ‘Plant Rust’, ‘Soils’, ‘Rain Gardens’, and ‘metro area stinging wasps.’ 

Interested participants can email: tricountymgstudygroup@gmail.com

Washington Co. Master Gardener’s Learning Group
The Learning Group is organized by the Washington County Master Gardener Association to assist Master Gardeners in building their knowledge-base to answer client gardening questions with confidence, in a fun, relaxed setting.  Topics covered are based on common and seasonal questions that Master Gardeners are often asked at office helplines and Master Gardener tabling events. 

Sessions are offered once a month via Zoom, the third Thursday of the month, 1:30pm to 3:30pm.  Participants receive a learning guide prior to the interactive learning session. Upcoming session topics include: raised-bed, container gardens, soil and soil testing, and research techniques for Master Gardeners.

Interested participants should contact: Sandy Japely, sjapely@gmail.com


Our November and December Garden Checklist

Fall provides lots of opportunities to accomplish garden tasks. Plant spring bulbs, renew mulch, clean and sharpen tools, and embrace leaving the leaves! Find it all in our November and December garden checklist…

“This is exactly the time we need to step up our game, listen, learn, and grow our work to be more equitable and inclusive of our many communities, particularly our communities of color. We look forward to growing together, and to working towards racial justice and equity in the Master Gardener Program.”

Gail Langellotto and LeAnn Locher

The Master Gardener Program and Racial Justice

Earlier this month we shared a message from Statewide Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Gail Langellotto, and Master Gardener Outreach Coordinator, LeAnn Locher regarding the OSU Master Gardener Program’s commitment to racial justice and equity.  We would like to share, once more, Gail and LeAnn’s imperative call for racial justice in the OSU Master Gardener Program. https://beav.es/4Hk

Last week Gail followed-up with a post, explaining the overwhelming support she received from dozens of Master Gardeners in support of racial and social justice.  In addition, Gail also listed the reading recommendations responders shared to begin and expand understanding of racial justice.  You can find Gail’s post here https://beav.es/4rv  

The metro area Master Gardener Program also received messages of strong support for the Program’s call for action.  Metro area Master Gardeners also shared resource recommendations, many of which were included in Gail’s post. 

Here are the additional resource recommendations from metro area Master Gardeners…

The metro area Master Gardener Program echoes the commitment to racial justice and equity for the MG program, expressed by Gail and LeAnn.  We recognize that there is a lot of work to be done, and a lot to learn.  Together we need to identify barriers in our program, take action to remove those barriers, and remain focused on creating an inclusive, welcoming community for all gardeners.


Webinar Series Continues

Bumblebee on heath blossoms

With the goal of keeping our Master Gardener community connected and engaged, the metro Master Gardener program has moved online.  Every Friday at 1pm we are presenting a horticulture-focused webinar for Master Gardeners and the gardening public. 

Upcoming webinars…

  • 1PM, Friday, June 19th, “Pollination and Pollinators: Sex and the Single Flower”, with Bob Falconer, OSU Master Gardener Register at this link https://beav.es/4rc
  • 1PM, Friday, June 26th, “New High Priority Noxious Weeds—How to ID” with Michele Delepine, West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Friday, July 3, no scheduled webinar
  • Friday, July 10, “Therapeutic Horticulture, Gardening for Healthy Living”, with Scott Hoffman, Therapeutic Garden Program Coordinator, Whole Health, Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System

Metro Master Gardener online webinars count as continuing garden education credit.

To register for upcoming webinars, watch for a weekly email sent from Marcia McIntyre, that has a link to the Zoom registration page.  Links to register for the webinars will also be posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts and the metro area Master Gardener educational events calendar.

Webinar Recordings

Do you have a schedule conflict with an upcoming webinar?  Don’t despair.  We are posting recordings of our webinars a few days following the presentation.

Check out past webinars here:
https://media.oregonstate.edu/channel/channelid/161357322


Master Gardener In-person Volunteer Activity Suspension

In the midst of the pandemic, and with OSU Extension Service’s commitment to keeping communities safe, suspension remains in effect for any in-person volunteer activities for OSU Master Gardeners.  This includes all Master Gardener clinics (phone, Farmers Markets, and special events), classes, workshops, demonstration gardens, parks, partner organizations, Speakers Guild presentations, fundraisers, and in-person meetings/lectures/speakers. 

As the State of Oregon lifts restrictions, around the state, OSU Extension is in the process of approving some restricted, limited, volunteer activities.  Approved activities will have requirements regarding safety protocol, which must be met.  As the University provides information and guidance regarding a resumption plan, we will provide updates.


Volunteering with Partner Organizations

Although some Partner organizations in the metro area may be resuming volunteer activities, at this point, in the metro area, Master Gardeners are not approved to participate and volunteer at any partner venues.  

We are deeply appreciative of those partner organizations who are clearly communicating the restrictions of the OSU Master Gardener Program.  We are keeping those organizations apprised of any changes to the University’s in-person volunteer policy and look forward to the day we can resume these valued partnerships.  We will alert all volunteers as restrictions are lifted.


OSU Master Gardener icon

With the cancellation of volunteer activities, and knowing the many challenges people are facing, we are waiving volunteer requirements for 2020.  We ask metro area Master Gardeners to report any volunteer hours served this year and their continuing education hours, by September 30, 2020.

We encourage Master Gardeners to take advantage of the many online continuing education opportunities.  Updates will be sent via email and/or posted in this monthly newsletter.


Master Gardener Hangout

Are you looking to connect with other Master Gardeners in an informal, online setting?  Join our Friday, Master Gardener Hangouts.  This is a forum to talk all things gardening. 

Past Master Gardener Hangouts have been fun, with mini tours of gardens, as participants took their laptops and phones out into their gardens – shared favorite vegetable varieties – asked each other questions – just enjoyed a chance to connect with fellow gardeners! 

You can connect via phone or internet. Look for an email from Marcia McIntyre, which will be sent on Friday afternoons as that week’s webinar is ending, with a link to join the ‘Master Gardener Hangout’.


Online Educational Opportunities

A wide-variety of educational webinars are available to view from other Master Gardener and Extension programs across the state. Check them out.

Master Gardener Advanced Training webinars continue on July 16th, 10am with Solve Pest Problems: A New Resource for Master Gardeners and the Public. Join Weston Miller, and learn about the exciting developments for the Solve Pest Problems website.
Pre-register here: https://learn.extension.org/events/3762


Gardening Will Save the World webinar series, sponsored by the Hood River Co. Master Gardeners. To register, see link below.

·  June 17, Insect Apocalypse: Real of Hype?, presented by Dr. Gail Langellotto, OSU Master Gardener State Coordinator

·  July 1, Pollinators, presented by Dr. Andony Melathopolous, OSU Professor, Pollinator Health Extension

·  July 15, Pesticide Safety, presented by Brooke Edmunds, Community Horticulture, Master Gardeners Linn and Benton Counties

For ‘Gardening Will Save the World Webinar Series’ details go to: https://beav.es/4rt


Sunshine streaming through trunks of trees in a forest.

Tree School Online
OSU Extension Clackamas Co. Tree School continues to offer weekly online webinars through July 28. Look for classes designated for Master Gardener continuing education credit. For more information go to https://beav.es/4Hn


Recently Reported Contaminated Soil and Compost

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) recently reported that it discovered soil and compost contaminated with the herbicide clopyralid.  The contamination was found in products purchased at two landscape distribution companies, Dean Innovations and McFarlane’s.  Details regarding the contamination, plus the ODA’s recommendation on the steps gardeners can take if they purchased the contaminated product can be found here… https://bit.ly/2MZkF6m

More information for gardeners…
Clopyralid in Compost: Questions and Answers for Gardeners and Farmers in Western Washington
https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/411/2014/12/Paper_Clopyralid_QandA_v10.pdf 

Gardeners seeking further information about pesticide risk for their situation can contact the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378 Monday –Friday from 8:00am –12:00pm, or email at npic@ace.orst.edu

Any updates on the investigation will be posted here.  https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/Pesticides/Pages/PesticidesCurrentIssues.aspx


Our June Garden Checklist

You still have time to plant your warm season vegetables, and once drier weather arrives remember to water your fruit trees. Check out the details in our June Garden Checklist.

https://media.oregonstate.edu/media/t/1_tnnu0mkn

Websites and publications mentioned in ‘Enhancing Urban and Suburban Landscapes to Protect Pollinators’ webinar:

Oregon State Bee Keepers Association Swarm Call
https://orsba.org/swarm-call/

Nurturing Mason Bees in Your Backyard in Western Oregon
https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em9130.pdf

Shrubs for Fall and Winter Bloom
https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em9277.pdf

Pollination Podcast
http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/pollinationpodcast/

Oregon Bee Atlas Outreach Materials
https://extension.oregonstate.edu/bee-atlas/outreach-materials

Noreen Thompson

With sadness, we report the passing of Norrene Thompson, an important figure in the history of the Oregon Master Gardener Program and the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association.

Gray and Norreen Thompson, 2005
Gray and Norreen Thompson, 2005

In 1975, Norrene’s husband Gray Thompson established the Master Gardener program in Clackamas County. From that time forward, the Thompson’s served as the “First Couple” of the Master Gardener program in Oregon.

Upon retiring in 1985, Norrene took the Master Gardener volunteer training and was an active Master Gardener volunteer for over 30 years. With a background as a home economics teacher, Norrene chaired the food committee for the Spring Garden Fair, a big job. She served as a liaison between the Clackamas Master Gardener Association and the Milwaukie Center, the long-time home for the chapter. Norrene served as chapter secretary and treasurer and also helped to establish a chapter mentoring program.

In 1995, Norrene and Gray were acknowledged as “An Honored Pair” and in 2005 the pair were recognized as State Master Gardeners of the year.

Gray Thompson passed away in 2012. The Thompson’s are survived by their daughter Noel Sullivan (herself a Master Gardener), son Linn; son-in-law Tom; daughter-in-law, Terrie; grandchildren, Jonn and Marco; and great-grandchildren, Jackson, Mylo and Connor.

A fitting tribute to Gray and Norrene Thompson

The Clackamas County Chapter of the Oregon Master Gardeners Association made an initial gift to the Extension Education Center fundraising program ($50,000).

The chapter has requested the naming rights for the Master Gardener Clinic in the new building—to be called the Gray and Norrene Thompson Master Gardener Clinic.

The Clackamas Extension Education Center will be located in Oregon City near our current office. Construction begins in 2020.

Memorial service for Norrene

Norrene’s memorial service will be held Saturday, November 9 at 2:00pm at the Moreland Presbyterian Church (1814 SE Bybee, Portland).

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Clackamas County Master Gardeners or Moreland Church.

See Norrene’s Obituary.

Noreen Thompson
Noreen Thompson, 1995

Fondly remembering Bill Greer

If you attended Master Gardener training in Washington County in the past 25 years, upon arrival you received a warm, friendly welcome from OSU Master Gardener, Bill Greer.  Bill volunteered at the check-in table at MG training for longer than anyone can remember. He was a fixture who could be counted on to welcome all, with a kind word and his delightful sense of humor.  We were deeply saddened to learn that Bill died on January 1.

Another place you were bound to see Bill was on Monday mornings at the Washington County hotline office.  In the office, Bill took on the role of mentor by listening, advising and guiding his fellow Master Gardener volunteers and the gardening public.  Many Master Gardeners learned the ins and outs of serving the gardening public while volunteering alongside Bill.  Bill was a patient teacher, guide and valued volunteer!

Bill Greer with his son and grandson.

Bill became an OSU Master Gardener in 1993.  Bill was an avid gardener with an extensive collection and knowledge of rhododendrons. According to his family, his background in engineering also supported an elaborate irrigation system that hydrated his rhodie garden.

At this year’s Washington County MG training as we enter and pass the check-in table, we will be thinking of Bill with fond and grateful remembrance!  Bill gave so much to the Master Gardener program, fellow Master Gardeners and those wanting to learn more about gardening.

On behalf of the OSU Master Gardeners, we want to extend our sincere sympathy and thanks to Bill’s family.  In past years, Bill’s children would transport Bill to training classes and to the Washington Co. office for his hotline shifts, so Bill could continue his tradition of giving to the community!

Bill was a very special Master Gardener volunteer who touched many as he shared his love of learning and the natural world.

Remembrance donations can be made to Valley Community Presbyterian Church, the OSU Master Gardener Program, or the American Rhododendron Society.

Here is another memorial remembrance of Bill.

Remembering with Fondness and Gratitude: Ray McNeilan

Ray McNeilan
Photo courtesy of Jan McNeilan

It is with sincere sadness we report that Ray McNeilan, OSU Professor of Horticulture and head of the Extension Master Gardener program from 1978 to 1996, died on October 4, 2018.

It is impossible to overstate the impact that Ray had on Oregon’s Master Gardener Program and on home gardeners across Oregon. He taught generations of Master Gardeners, was a gracious colleague to fellow horticulturists, and authored several books and countless Extension fact sheets.

Ray was instrumental helping to establish the Oregon Master Gardeners Association (comprised of individual, county Chapters), as a non-profit 501(c) organization dedicated to raising funds and supporting the Oregon State Master Gardener program.

Upon his retirement, he continued to volunteer his time and expertise to the Master Gardener Program and to the Oregon Master Gardener Association. In honor of his contributions, the Oregon Master Gardener Association funds a scholarship for an OSU Horticulture student, in Dr. McNeilan’s name.

His smile was huge, as was his heart. Together with his wife Jan (who was also an OSU Extension Professional, and the Coordinator of OSU’s Master Gardener Program from 2003 to 2007), the McNeilans helped to establish the Statewide Master Gardener Endowment Fund at OSU, which has been integral to keeping the program strong, to this day.

A giant in the world of horticulture, Ray was humble, generous, and always smiling. His legacy will live on in the many Master Gardeners he trained, the students who study horticulture at OSU via the Ray McNeilan scholarship, and the many colleagues he has supported and encouraged.

The metro-area Master Gardener program remembers Ray with fondness and deepest gratitude, knowing the significant, positive difference that he made to the OSU Master Gardener program, the gardening public and horticulture in Oregon!

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests tax-deductible memorial donations to the program closest to his heart: OSU Master Gardener Program Endowment, OSU Foundation, 850 S.W. 35th St., Corvallis, OR 97333-4015.

 

Ray and Jan McNeilan
Photo courtesy of Jan McNeilan

 

 

After 22 years as the Metro-area, OSU Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator, Jordis Yost retired on July 31st and is starting a new chapter in her life.

We are both excited for Jordis and her family, yet very sad to see her go!

Jordis started her adventure (career) with OSU by taking the Master Gardener training in 1992 with her husband Michael.  Their goal was to get a handle on how to maintain their amazing property in rural Multnomah County.

Jordis instructing 2018 Master Gardener trainees

Jordis believed so strongly in the power of community-based outreach and engagement that she applied for a job with the MG program in 1996.  Since then, she has supported 1000s of volunteers in the Master Gardener training and volunteer experience.

Jordis has embodied the spirit of community and volunteerism during her tenure with OSU.  Patience, a sense of humor, and purpose-driven investment of time and energy are just some of the traits that Jordis has brought to her work.  Jordis also served in volunteer support roles for the Master Recycler, Master Watershed Stewards, and Metro Natural Gardening programs along the way.

Jordis has guided, and educated Master Gardeners with a delightful sense of humor, levelheaded perspective, kindness, and grace.  We are immensely grateful to Jordis for her dedicated service, hard work and steadfast commitment to the OSU Master Gardener program and the Master Gardener volunteers.

Our heartfelt thanks to you Jordis!
Wishing you a wonderful retirement!

 

On September 2nd, OSU Master Gardeners, OSU Extension staff, family and friends gathered to celebrate and honor Jordis.  Here is a snippet of photos from the festivities…

Jordis and Mike Bondi, OSU Extension Service – Clackamas County – Regional Director Photo courtesy of Sharon Andrews

Cheers to Jordis!
Photo courtesy of Sharon Andrews

Jordis with Master Gardeners John Jordan (left) and Xuan Sibell (right)

Jordis’ Family Celebrates With Her

Jordis and Weston at the photo booth.

Jordis and her husband Michael take a moment at the photo booth.

Clackamas MGs sending the love to Jordis

Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas County Chapter representatives express their gratitude and present a gift to Jordis.

The Millers arrive to celebrate Jordis
Dear Master Gardener volunteers,

Welcome to 2018!

The Master Gardener program team (Weston, Jordis, Marcia) and our supervisors at OSU appreciate your participation in our outreach and engagement efforts in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties.

Your volunteerism makes a difference, helping to spread sustainable gardening information in the community.

Thank you for your contribution of time and expertise!

Volunteer statistics- Wow! and thank you!

In 2017, we conducted the Master Gardener training for 144 students (with volunteer requirement) plus an additional 15 students enroled in our certificate option (no volunteer requirement). Of this group, 105 students submitted volunteer hours.

We coordinated an additional 412 volunteers (517 total volunteers for 2017), who provided 38,422 hours of service.

Based on the Independent Sector (https://www.independentsector.org/volunteer_time) value of volunteer time in Oregon of $24.15 for 2017, the in-kind value of this contribution is $434,700 toward this public service of OSU Extension Service.

About 18,000 of these hours were applied toward OSU sponsored outreach activities including helplines, plant clinics, and gardening presentations. This volunteer effort produced 34,093 unique educational contacts with adults and 394 pesticide free zone pledges.

Master Gardeners make gardening presentations to the community via our Speakers Guild and 10-Minute University.  In 2017, MGs conducted 69 seminar events with 2,820 educational contacts.

As a learning community, Master Gardeners reported 7,753 hours of continuing education credit through recertification classes, webinars, and pest curation groups.

In addition to the activities described above, Master Gardener chapters in the metro area manage multiple demonstration gardens, conduct plant sales, and orchestrate chapter activities.

These program statistics paint a picture of an incredible learning community focused on community service.  We are in awe!

Thank you to MG program/chapter liaisons!

The MG program team would like to extend a special thank you to a group of MG volunteers that provided us with timely and sage advice through the course of the year through our on-going MG liaison group.  With the goal of improving communications between and MG program and chapters (and individual volunteers) and among the chapters, the Liaison group met eight times in 2017.

Thank you to you:

  • Kimberly Culbertson
  • Janet Evans
  • Jack Lazerek
  • Rich Becker

We had a great meeting in December with this group and Liaison representatives for 2018.  We are looking forward to continued and improved collaboration.

Strategic plan 2014-2019- Update

To guide the MG program into the future, we are working toward the following goals:

  1. Improving the effectiveness of the MG training and volunteer program.
  2. Streamlining branding and communications.
  3. Optimizing resources (financial, human, and organizational).
  4. Expanding our reach to under-served audiences to promote diversity and equity.
  5. Growing the next generation of gardeners (youth and adults).

Here is an update on these efforts:

1. Improving the effectiveness of the MG training and volunteer program

In 2015, we modified the format of the MG program from 11 weeks of in-person classes to a hybrid learning format including seven weeks of in-person training, online content, online final exam in addition to seminars, and hands-on workshops.  This format has provided more flexibility and multiple pathways of learning sustainable gardening content for our students.  This format has also provided more flexibility for the MG program team to provide the MG curriculum.

New for 2018, we have asked our instructors to include active-learning opportunities for in-person classes, which have been mostly lecture-based.  Inclusion of new, hands/minds-on activities is part of a state-wide effort to provide a richer learning experience for our students.

We encourage you to come on out the the 2018 classes to experience this new focus, aimed to support adult learning.

2. Streamlining branding and communications

In 2015, the MG program and our area chapters adapted new logos and made efforts to improve MG program and chapter websites and to give them a more standard look and feel.  Additionally, we initiated the MG program/chapter liaison group as an important means of getting advice from you, our volunteer network.

We also know that there is much room for improvement to improve our communications with our volunteers and community partners.  Here are steps that we are taking in 2018:

  • More efficient communications with our Liaison group to make it easier for them to share information from the MG program with chapters and vice versa.
  • New and improved online newsletter format including email, blogs, and PDF documents.
  • This annual report that your are reading now.
  • An annual open meeting for all MGs (coming June 2018).

3. Optimizing resources (financial, human, and organizational).

We continue to benefit from the generous financial support of Clackamas County Extension and Metro.  Both organizations provide critical base funding to make our regional effort possible.  Thank your to Mike Bondi and Carl Grimm for the support.

Unfortunately, we still need to charge program fees to cover our costs of production.  In 2017, program fees provided $64,000 of income needed to conduct the program including materials, transport, and staff time.

We also greatly appreciate nearly $15,000 in donations (over three years) from MG chapters and individuals to support reduced-fee slots for the MG training.  These resources have made it possible for us to offer 61 reduced fee slots to community members (over three years).  Thank you for your generous support!

4. Expanding our reach to under-served audiences to promote diversity and equity.

In addition to offering reduced-fee opportunities to train Master Gardeners, we are making efforts to engage with diverse audiences.  Here are some recent successes in this realm:

  • Master Gardeners instruct basic food gardening classes to the community through our partnership with Oregon Food Bank’s Seed to Supper programs.
  • Collaboration with WIC (Women, Infants, Children) to conduct Spanish-language outreach at the Washington County Fair with xxxx+ visitors
  • Conduct focus groups and questionnaires in Spanish-language and with immigrants/newcomers to get feedback about pests and pest control as part of SolvePestProblems.edu, a planned website project to provide comprehensive IPM resources for non-agricultural audiences in Oregon and beyond.  We have over 100 points of contact with diverse stakeholders including: Latino, Tongan, Russian, Vietnamese, and immigrant/newcomer communities.
  • SolvePestProblems.edu is planned to be a state-wide resource with at least 750 content pages available in both English and Spanish.  Check out the project website for this planned resource.

For 2018, we are planning a pilot outreach program to reach diverse audiences:

Garden Bridges: Growing Cross Cultural Connection In the Garden

Would you like to garden with immigrants and refugees? Oregon State University is partnering with People-Places-Things LLC.  to build relationships between English language learners and Master Gardeners.  Master Gardeners will develop their intercultural communication skills, helping immigrants and refugees learn English and gardening skills.

The general commitment is two hours a week in a classroom setting developing relationships with language learners. Then when the weather gets a little better, we’ll welcome Newcomer gardeners and show them around, practicing English and tending your plots together. All experiences will be very practical and hands-on. You’ll make some new friends, learn about the amazing people in your neighborhood, and share your expertise.

Interested in becoming a cross cultural educator as part of this pilot partnership with People-Places-Things?

We will have an info session on Thursday, January 11 from 6:30pm to 7:pm30 at Kelly School Center 9015 SE Rural St in Portland.

Please RSVP to weston.miller@oregonstate if you intend to come or have interest in this opportunity but cannot make this event.

5. Growing the next generation of gardeners (youth and adults)

We want to train the next generation of gardeners by providing research-based information.

At the Oregon Zoo backyard habitat exhibit, MGs interacted with nearly 5,000 kids in 2017!

A handful of individual Master Gardeners connect with kids in school gardens through regular programming and consulting services.  Thank you to Frank Willie, Kris Lamar, and Jeanine Rychlic for reporting these important efforts in 2017!

Also, in addition to training the next generation of Master Gardeners, the OSU Master Gardener team is working hard to provide gardening information to the general public through public media contacts including our new partnership with The Oregonian.

Monthly “What to do in the garden” video series

We’ve had an outstanding opportunity to collaborate with the Oregonian to produce practical, how-to video series with monthly gardening tips.  Thank you to Monica Maggio and Ruban Lawrence for your contribution to these videos.  And thank you to 2017 trainee Michelle Nicolosi for fostering this partnership.

Check them out!