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Coordinator Corner – October 2023

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

10/11/2023

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower
A room of Master Gardener volunteers and interns  sitting at tables, casually talking
The Intern-Mentor Celebration - Oct 1, 2023

Message from the Coordinator

CONGRATULATIONS on completing another busy, challenging, exciting, fun and successful gardening season. The hard and hot work of the summer months is behind us and the cool days of fall are (suddenly) upon us. Just like in the garden, this means changes to our volunteer program.

  • New interns

  • Completion of service & education requirements

  • Clean-up from the past summer

  • Planning for the next spring

As we ease into the fall and the last few months of the year, I want to THANK YOU ALL for remembering to:

  • Reporting your volunteer and continuing education hours;

  • Sharing your highlights and success stories of your RCMG volunteer experiences and;

  • Providing input and suggestions on program improvements and new things to try for 2024.

We've been receiving several questions on where to find continuing education opportunities. The Ramsey County Master Gardener website has some GREAT RESOURCES for you on continuing education. (Click Here) We encourage you to explore these resources, both to meet your annual requirements but also because there is some really cool stuff in there.

 

Incoming Class of 2024

The application window for 2024 is closed! We have received almost 70 applications for the 2024 Master Gardener Program here in Ramsey County. This isn't the largest number of applicants we've ever seen but it's up there! We are excited to welcome these individuals and have scheduled a couple of weeks of informational interviews for each of the applicants starting on Monday 10/23.


We can really use your help! Visit SignUp Genius to find a few times when you can help. An orientation for volunteers helping with interviews is scheduled for next week, Thursday 10/19.


We will also need volunteers willing to help guide and support our newest RCMG recruits. Keep your eyes open for a sign-up and invitation to become a 2024 Mentor in the coming weeks.

 

Intern-Mentor Celebration Event

In early October we hosted a celebration at the Roseville Library to recognize RCMG Interns and Mentors. It was a great afternoon to celebrate all of the hard work and dedication of the interns this past year! It was also a great opportunity to recognize and thank the mentors who have helped support and guide the incoming class of interns. The New Member Committee got some great feedback about things to consider in preparation for the incoming class of 2024.


Volunteers baked & brought tasty treats to share and everyone exchanged stories about the successes and struggles of being an intern or a mentor this year.


A special thanks to New Member Committee Chairs, Judie Ginter and Karen Randall, along with Brianna Gohde for all of their hard work over this past year!

 

Your 2023 RCMG Hours

You should have received an email from Brianna recently called, "RCMG Current Volunteer Hours - October 2023" This is the fall check-in from the Ramsey County Master Gardener Volunteer Program, which we started doing in 2022. You should have received a summary of what you have entered into the volunteer database as of October 02, 2023. We need you to enter your required hours before December 31, 2023. Failure to do so will result in a probationary flag on your volunteer account, which may lead to removal from the Master Gardener Volunteer Program or affect your access to some volunteer perks.


A few related reminders:

Need Help?

Please contact Brianna Gohde (Assistant Program Coordinator) or Darren Lochner (RCMG Program Coordinator, as soon as you can if any of the following apply to you:

  • You believe any of the information above is incorrect.

  • You have concerns about completing your volunteer requirements by the time listed above.

  • You would like to change your volunteer status.

  • You would like to withdraw from the program.

Finding Additional Hours

The activity season is winding down. There are fewer things for RCMG volunteers to do. We'll do what we can to find a few things to help carry you over the line but we can't can't if we don't know.

  • If you need a few additional volunteer hours or what to know if something you did earlier in the year can be counted as Volunteer Service towards your Volunteer Service requirements, let us know ASAP!


  • If you have questions about whether something counts as Continuing Education for your Master Gardener requirements, ask us!

Contact Darren or Brianna as soon as you know and we'll work on figuring out a plan.

 

Preparation and Planning for 2024

The winter is for planning and RCMG is no different. Volunteers should expect to hear from us this fall about the following:

  • Confirming your contact information and intent for 2024 to update the RCMG Directory

  • Collecting information about specific project for annual reports to the U of MN Extension and Ramsey County

  • Checking with project leads to find out who will be the primary volunteer contact for the project in 2024

  • Planning our 2024 budget for projects

If you have plans for a new project that you want to start next year, let us know! Review the New Project Proposal form to learn about next steps.

 

Darren Lochner

RCMG Program Coordinator






Brianna Gohde

RCMG Assistant Program Coordinator




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