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Coordinator Corner – April 2023

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

4/13/2023

Here comes the first big wave of volunteering of the season!

Message from the Coordinator

There is an old saying of April Showers Bring May Flowers. We will see what April 80-degree temperatures mean this year!


As we ease into the gardening season and the upcoming Master Gardener volunteer opportunities I would like to personally thank you for all that you do. A special thank you to everyone involved with the RCMG Project Fair hosted on March 28th. THANK YOU to Judie Ginter, Karen Randall and Brianna Gohde for all of your hard work with planning the fair and thank you to all of the project leaders and volunteers! What an energizing and fun event that was.


Speaking of volunteering opportunities, all volunteers are reminded about Sign-Up Genius etiquette. If you sign up, please show up! While we want you to sign up for all of the great volunteer opportunities available, we encourage you to review your schedules and make sure you can manage all that you sign up for. It's extremely important to be present for any commitment you've agreed to through SignUp Genius. Although we realize that things come up, real emergencies should be the only reason you are unable to make a volunteer commitment. If you're unable to make a commitment that you've signed up for, attempting to find a substitute is crucial. We have outlined some ways to find substitutes and manage SUG on the RCMG website. Read on below.


SignUp Tsunami!

The community requests for Master Gardener volunteers are coming in fast now, as you may have noticed. This is the first big wave of volunteering of the season. RCMG volunteer opportunities are posted on SignUp Genius on Thursdays and Sundays. All volunteer opportunities are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.



We want to remind everyone about volunteering best practices.

  • Check your calendar to avoid double-booking. With so many invitations coming out at the same time, it's easy to double-book yourself and SignUp Genius won't warn you if you signup for activities that happen at the same time. Avoid future conflicts by double-checking the SighUp Genius calendar view.

  • Don't delete yourself from a sign-up. Use these 6 Strategies for Finding a Substitute instead to make sure our events have enough volunteers to be a success. In a worst-case scenario, contact the MG lead to let them know what's happening.

  • Wear your Extension t-shirt and badge to volunteer activities with the public. It helps them know who we are. You can find links to purchase branded apparel and generic name badges on the RCMG Quick Links page.

  • Re-read the project details & expectations on the SignUp Genius page before you go. Sometimes volunteers need to bring their own materials (like a shovel or water bottle) or the project lead provides details on parking or finding their table

  • Review Extension's Standards of Behavior

  • Use the Best Practices for Working with the Public in the Let's Talk Plants toolkit

  • Watch the Volunteer Etiquette & Branding overview to get more information.

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UPDATE – Monthly Meetings 2023

Please note the schedule for our upcoming RCMG Monthly Meetings. We will be hybrid (in-person/online) at the Roseville Skating Center in April and then we will not return to this format until September.


The monthly meetings for this summer will be as follows:

  • May - No Meeting due to the Plant Sale

  • June - In-person at the Ramsey County Extension Office (The Barn)

  • July - Tour at the Highland Bridge/Ford Site in St. Paul

  • August - Joint Meeting with Washington County Master Gardeners (location TBA)

  • September - Roseville Skating Center

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UPDATE – Notice to 2022 Service Awards Winners & Graduates

If you received a Years-of-Service or Hours-of-Service award for 2022 or if you completed your internship in 2022, we have certifications, stars and badges from the University of Minnesota Extension program. These will be available at the April Monthly Meeting at the Roseville Oval (see map here) on Tuesday April 18 starting at 6pm. We plan to mail any that remain after the meeting using the home address you provided to RCMG last fall.


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UPDATED – 2023 Volunteer Directory

Thanks to everyone who submitted new information for the 2023 RCMG volunteer directory. If you find an error or typo, please contact Brianna Gohde.

2023 RCMG Directory
.pdf
Download PDF • 3.24MB

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NEW – Project Directory

Check out the newest RCMG Project Catalog. This document lists many of the most popular volunteer activities and includes information about them so you can learn about them.


If you find an error or typo, please contact Brianna Gohde.

RCMG Project Catalog 2023
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.70MB

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NEW - Volunteer Opportunity

The following is an opportunity for all Master Gardener volunteers:

Apply for an Advisory Board or Committee

Serving on a Ramsey County advisory board or committee is a great way to get involved with your local government and make a positive impact on your community. The board of commissioners appoint residents to serve in these important roles that help shape policy, review programs and plans, and represent families and residents in Ramsey County. There are currently vacancies on the University of Minnesota Extension Committee, Community Health Services Advisory Committee, and Parks and Recreation Commission. You can learn more about these advisory boards/committees and how to apply here. The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 11:59pm. If you are still interested past the deadline please let me know. Also, for more information, contact Tammy McCulloch at tammym@umn.edu, Regional Extension Director.

 

Look forward to seeing you this spring!

Darren Lochner

RCMG Program Coordinator




Brianna Gohde

RCMG Assistant Program Coordinator




COVID-19 Safety Update

The current COVID-19 Community level is LOW. That said, we will continue to encourage all volunteers to wear a face cover or mask when participating in in-person and indoor activities regardless of vaccination status. The main page of the State Master Gardener website (z.umn.edu/mgweb) has some good information and updates on COVID-19 as well as low-contact, work-from-home volunteer opportunities.


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