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Coordinator Corner – January 2024

Updated: Jan 11


"There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues." - Hal Borland

Message from the Coordinator

Happy New Year!

The new year often brings much excitement and anticipation for the year ahead. Even with the snow and cold I find myself around looking forward to spring and upcoming gardening season. We would like to welcome all of the returning Master Gardener volunteers as well as all of the new 2024 Master Gardener interns.

As you look ahead to 2024 we encourage you to begin explore the many volunteer opportunities available and opportunities to get more involved such as leading and planning projects. We are also open to exploring new ways to get involved with our communities. If you have an idea for a new project, let us know!

Until the weather warms again, enjoy browsing through your garden catalogs and visiting places like the Sunken Garden at the Como Zoo Conservatory to get your garden fix. I know I will be checking out the RCMG Pre-sale ordering some plants for the gardens.

Let's make it a great 2024!


2024 Annual Plant Pre-sale 1/01-1/26

The Plant Sale Committee annual bedding plant sale is now open online and available to all RCMG volunteers. This is a fantastic opportunity only available to RCMG volunteers. Pick from dozens of wonderful plants and purchase them at whole-sale prices.

If you are a project lead for a demonstration garden and expect to need plants in 2024, consider purchasing some of these are the discounted prices.

The deadline for orders is January 26th.


I forgot to enter my 2023 hours! Now what?

Life happens and we understand that. However, there is no way to enter your 2023 hours and have them counted towards your volunteer efforts last year because the information about 2023 is locked and cannot be changed. This is outside of our control. You can still put them in but they won't be counted.

You may also notice your current status for 2024 says “TI.” This is a temporary flag but one you need to pay attention to.


Double-Check Your Contact Info

We are preparing for the 2024 Directory. Please take a minute to check what we currently have on-file by looking at the volunteer directory from last year.

If you have changes to your email, phone number, home address or status for 2024, please fill in this form or contact Brianna.


Background Check & Safety of Minors Expirations

Reminder! Every 3 years, Extension volunteers – like Master Gardener volunteers – must resubmit a background check and update their safety of minor training. If they lapse, you won’t be able to log in to enter your hours and are functionally "removed" from the volunteer program.

Expect an email about updating your information if you joined RCMG in 2021, 2018, 2015, 2012, 2009, 2006, 2003, 2000, 1997, 1994, 1991 or 1988. You'll usually get a reminder sometime in the winter months because you likely first entered them as an incoming intern and that's the date on our account. If you are not sure if this affects you, contact Brianna or Darren.

You can also update your background check and Safety of Minors credentials yourself by visiting the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer website.


Materials Collections

Did you find any RCMG handouts, bookmarks, tote boxes, props, displays, signs, tables, awnings while cleaning up after the holidays? Bring them in!

We are still collecting all of the RCMG equipment to conduct an inventory, update materials, and replace anything that is wearing out before the volunteering season kicks off later this spring. Contact Brianna or Darren if you have things to drop off.


Darren Lochner

RCMG Program Coordinator

Brianna Gohde

RCMG Assistant Program Coordinator


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