January 11, 2022 RCMG Board of Directors Meeting The January Board Meeting was held on 1/11/2022 via Zoom. The next board meeting is scheduled for February 8, 2022 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. These meetings are open to all volunteers.
Education Committee Update
Jane Carlstrom reported that the Communication Committee is meeting prior to the January 18th general meeting.
Speakers have been secured for February, March, and July. In August we host Washington County for a joint meeting, a tour of Gibbs Farm.
New Member Committee Update
Kay Wimer reported that we have a total of 58 interns for 2022. Interns were given a survey to determine their areas of interest and whether they’d prefer to be mentored by RCMG members or the State team. Somewhat surprisingly 25 chose the State option, leaving 33 for RCMG. A reminder that ALL interns are part of our RCMG program, regardless of their training status.
Communications Committee Update
We now have an Instagram account, thanks to Kelly Greco. Nanette Boudreau reported that our Facebook account is still popular (with 114,00 hits in the last 28 days and 144 new followers) but the “younger generation” tends to prefer Instagram. Darren suggested (jokingly) that our next project might be setting up a “Tik Tok” site!
The web team continues to work on our website and is focusing on updating the Intern and Mentor information pages right now.
Plant Sale Committee Update
The Plant Sale is scheduled for May 21st and will be held at Holy Childhood School. This is the same as last year, but the sale will be onsite, not online.
A members-only Pre-Sale is currently active. This allows volunteers to buy flats of plants directly from the wholesaler who supplies the Plant Sale seedlings.
The November and December monthly transactions and bank reconciliation reports were approved.
Amy presented a draft budget for 2022 which was also approved. The budget will be presented to membership and voted on in February.
Program Coordinator Update
Darren Lochner reported that we have a new assistant at the Extension Office, Brianna “Bri” Washburn. Bri replaces
Brenda Slaughter, who retired in 2020. This position is primarily funded by the Extension Nutrition program but Bri will also assist other Extension coordinators, including Darren and RCMG. He’s been without any administrative help since he took over as Program Coordinator.
The 2022 Core Course is up and running. Darren is encouraging all existing members to consider signing up for the 2022 Core Course. There is no cost to the volunteer. Content is updated each year. The Diversity/Equity/Inclusion module was added in 2021 and got fantastic reviews from the 2021 interns; the Community Engagement module was updated for 2022.
Monthly meetings will continue to be held online through April. Brianna Gohde and Darren are working on technology that will allow a “hybrid” meeting option once in-person meetings take place starting, hopefully, in May.
Brianna Gohde shared an overview of volunteer contributions in 2021, including the total number of service and education entered into the State database.
Vice Chair Update
The annual audit of our finances will take place in February or March. Sandy McDonald is recruiting a few members to participate. With digital documents this can be accomplished online.
Board Chair Update
Nate Galloway discussed his thoughts about community engagement and the goal of increasing diversity in our membership, and in the people we serve. He is suggesting that we focus on a pilot program with our St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) with the hope that we’ll attract students who will be interested in gardening and related topics.
During the time of Covid, we might create short videos on basic gardening topics that could be viewed remotely as part of the Science curriculum, for example. We might also provide “project bags” for hands-on activities that would engage students. Once Covid passes we might get into the classrooms or at least work outdoors with demonstration gardens.
2022 Board Leadership: Nate Galloway (Chair), Sandy McDonald (Vice Chair), Gretchen Hesli (Secretary), Amy Davis (Treasurer), Jane Carlstrom (Education Co-Chair), Sue Ellen Campbell (Education Co-Chair), Judi Ginter (Membership Co-Chair), Kay Wimer (Membership Co-Chair), Nanette Boudreau (Communication Chair), Darren Lochner (Program Coordinator).