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Darren's Digest – August 2022

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

August 05, 2022

Our volunteers' work is amazing and impactful, and deserves to be shared!

As we ease into August I am reminded that it is a great time to document our volunteer projects through stories, photos, and more. As Ramsey County Master Gardener Volunteers, your work is amazing and impactful and deserves to be told.

Project Stories and Testimonials

Have you heard some meaningful quotes or good testimonials from residents participating in your RCMG volunteer activity and the positive change that resulted from your volunteer efforts? Hearing from those people who we get to interact with as volunteers can say so much about the value Master Gardener volunteers bring to their communities.

Project Stories

Stories describe some of the things our volunteers do. We can share them on our website or through social media to let everyone know about the great work that volunteers are doing. Check out some examples of Project Stories from last year.

Participant Testimonials

Quotes from participants is a great way to get feedback right from the source! For example, “I like being able to grow my own food and learn about gardening,” said Jane Doe, one of 20 St. Paul public housing residents working with Master Gardeners on their community garden. or "I like eating vegetables from the garden that I helped to grow," said Jada, a participant in a youth garden.

Write down the great things you hear and, if you can, ask the person if you can quote them while thanking them for the kind words.


As the old saying goes, "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words." Pictures are a wonderful way to share your story as a volunteer in the Master Gardener Program. Some photos are used to highlight projects with other volunteers, some can be shared with the State Leadership Team, who may then include them in their public announcements about the program and others can be used for creating new handouts and marketing materials.

Example Photos

Check out some examples of volunteer photos from last year in the 2021 RCMG Activity Collection. Please be aware that if you have photos with residents, you may need to ask them to fill in a Media Release Form (download below). To know when you need that, you can check out the guidelines on When do you need a Media Release.

Download PDF • 205KB

Volunteer to Take Pictures

You can sign up to participate in a RCMG Photo Challenge and contribute specific types of pictures. Check out the SignUp Genius page and click on the different tabs to get more information.

Tips and Tricks

If you are taking photos consider these Tips and Tricks for the Extension photographer for capturing the moment.

Annual Reports

Every fall, Master Gardener groups all over the state are asked to collect their stories, photos, testimonials, and volunteer data. These eventually turn into the MN State Annual Report. (See archived reports here.) These are then shared with the wider public to let everyone know what Master Gardener volunteers do for their communities.

When we share these reports, we can encourage more community organizations to partner with us, recruit more people to join us as volunteers, and ensure that we maintain the funding from Ramsey County and the University of Minnesota to continue with our work.


Thank you again for all of your hard work this summer. Happy Gardening!

Darren Lochner

RCMG 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 ( has some good information and updates on COVID-19 as well as low-contact, work-from-home volunteer opportunities.


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