Updated: Mar 16
Think about goals as a Master Gardener volunteer for this upcoming year. What you would like to accomplish? What would you like to learn about or explore?
Message from the Coordinator
It is officially spring (or at least that is what our calendars tell us)! Like many gardeners I am excited for the spring season. Each spring I make a list of goals and things I would like to accomplish in my gardens during the upcoming growing season. For example, maybe I can experiment with new plant varieties, complete a landscaping project, or take more photos. I hope you're likewise setting goals for what you want to accomplish—both as a gardener and as a volunteer.
As we ease into growing season there will be many volunteer opportunities available to you. There are not many things to do during the winter months but I promise it will start ramping up in April and May. Notably, there will be many things to do to support the RCMG plant sale and that works starts now with our Seedling Growers and Houseplant Dividers.
As reminder we have many training options available to you on the RCMG website. This month, we recommend all volunteers take some time to watch the training on using Sign Up Genius. This training highlight things like signing up for volunteer opportunities, searching for activities, managing your account, and swapping with another volunteer. Even if you've been using SUG for years, it's a great refresher to get you ready for the volunteer opportunities to come.
Notice to 2022 Graduates
For those Master Gardeners who completed their internships in 2022, we now have your OFFICIAL BADGES and certifications from the University of Minnesota Extension program. These will be available at the March Monthly Meeting at the Roseville Oval (see map here) on Tuesday March 21 starting at 6pm. We hope to see you there to pick-up your badge before the volunteer season gets underway.
If you are not able to stop-by or attend the meeting in-person that evening, the badges and certificates will be available for you to pick-up at your leisure. They will be inside the Diagnostic Clinic outside of the Maplewood Extension office (see map here) in a labeled tote-box.
If neither of these options are available to you, please let Darren Lochner know to coordinate another method.
2023 Volunteer Directory
Don't forget to download a copy of the newest RCMG volunteer directory. If you find an error or typo, please contact Brianna Gohde. Final updates will be made and posted in April.
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.
Continuing Education Opportunities
The annual RCMG Project Fair will be held on Tuesday March 28. This is a great chance to meet the volunteers leading our fantastic community outreach projects and find ways to get involved. While this is designed for our newest volunteers, ALL RCMG Volunteers are welcome! We hope to see you there!
RCMG will also be hosting a live event at the Roseville Oval on Thursday April 27 to join the last of the Core Course Q&A modules. There will be an opportunity to hear more about the Community Engagement information from the MG State Leadership Team and get new ideas about ways to become more involved in our communities to reach them. This event is also available to ALL RCMG volunteers.
Speaking of the State Leadership Team, don't forget to check the newsletter from Tim Kenny to find the links to sign up for the State Master Gardener Conference on June 2-3 at the MN Landscape Arboretum in Chaska. The State Conference is a fantastic opportunity to meet with Master Gardener volunteers from all over the state and learn from top-notch speakers. Touring the Arboretum grounds in early summer is also a delight! If you haven't gone before (and this is the first State Conference since 2019 so we know many of you are new to this) it is absolutely worth the long drive!
While you are signing up for more high-level Continuing Education, don't miss the State Leadership Team's Nature Heals training. If you've ever wondered WHY gardening makes you feel good, this is the class for you. It is a deep look into the emerging science behind therapeutic horticulture. This training is only offered once per year so don't miss your chance!
SignUp Genius Errors
We still see delivery errors since the start of 2023 that is affecting delivery to volunteers who are using Outlook, Hotmail, Live, and MSN email accounts. ALL VOLUNTEERS should add the email address – email@example.com – 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.
Look forward to seeing you this spring!
RCMG Program Coordinator
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.