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Coordinator Corner – February 2023

2/13/2023

There might still be snow on the ground but spring is coming and volunteers are getting ready!

2022 Year Recap

RCMG tackled big changes and started new community projects in 2022. Take a look at all that we accomplished together. And THANK YOU to everyone who contributed last year. You make a difference in our communities!


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2023 Volunteer Directory

Download a copy of the newest RCMG volunteer directory. The document includes contact information for program coordinators, the board of directors, project leaders, and RCMG volunteers. We also have a new section that identifies RCMG subject–matter-expects. If you find an error or typo, please contact Brianna Gohde.


2023 RCMG Directory
.pdf
Download PDF • 3.21MB

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SignUp to Get Involved

As we ease into the spring season, you'll begin to see more volunteer opportunities appear on SignUp Genius. As a note, RCMG volunteer opportunities are posted on SignUp Genius on Thursdays and Sundays. All volunteer opportunities are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.


New to SignUp Genius? We encourage you to check out the RCMG website for the training on SignUp Genius. The SignUp Genius training covers signing up for volunteer opportunities and managing your individual account. If you are a new project lead this year, you can check out the training on how to use SignUp Genius to create and manage projects.


Another topic covered in the Train-the-Trainers series is training on Reporting Volunteer and Continuing Education Hours. Do your best to enter hours as you complete them; it will make life a lot easier (and the information more accurate) to do a little bit at a time.


A Quick Message to the 2023 Interns about Hours

The 2023 interns will be given access to the State database for entering hours around April 1st. This is intentional. The last module of the Master Gardener Core Course,—"Engaging Your Community"—provides an overview of the volunteer database and tutorial on entering hours. The Core Course is designed to build your confidence about research-based garden knowledge before worrying about volunteering and recording your time.


But it doesn't have to stop you from getting involved!


Between now and then we recommend that interns record their volunteer and continuing education hours manually. This can be on a calendar, notebook, online spreadsheet, or this worksheet, provided by the New Member Committee.


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Celebrate & Reflect During Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a great time to reflect, examine and educate ourselves about working in community and with each other. We encourage you to check out some of the following resources:

  • Review last March's presentation by Abra Lee, "The Invincible Garden Ladies: the Historic Influence of Black Women on American Horticulture." Abra has granted us permission to view the recording during the month of February. This education session was a joint meeting with the Hennepin County Master Gardener Volunteer Program.

  • Retrain your brain at The Bias Inside Us exhibition a the Science Museum of Minnesota. (Open through February 26.) This traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution invites you to recognize and reckon with your own biases. The project is grounded in Harvard research and teaches us that bias is inside everyone.

  • Review Module 2—"Toward Inclusive Volunteering: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"—in the 2023 Master Gardener Volunteer Core Course. Remember that all volunteers can review the Core Course materials for free; you just need to register online to renew your access.

  • Review the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion materials on the state Master Gardener Program website.

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SignUp Genius Errors

IMPORTANT: Add SignUp Genius to your email address book or contact list: info@signupgenius.com


We have seen a lot of delivery errors since the start of 2023 that is affecting delivery to volunteers who are using Outlook, Hotmail, Live, and MSN email accounts. We are working with SignUp Genius’s technical support to find a solution. In the meantime, ALL VOLUNTEERS should add the email address above to their email's address book or contact list. This tells your email provider that SignUp Genius is allowed to send you emails.


SignUp Genius invitations are sent on Thursday mornings and Sunday evenings. If you have not seen any invites, please let Brianna know so we can get your name re-added to the mailing list.


 

Thank you again for all that you do. Our organization is stronger for having you as a volunteer.

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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