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July Monthly Meeting Recap

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

The July 19, 2022 RCMG monthly meeting was held both via Zoom and in-person at the Rose Room at the Roseville Oval Skate Park.

July 25, 2022


Many thanks to the RCMG volunteers involved with the July Meeting:

  • Room Set-up – Judy Johnson, Alex Meyer, Patricia Mason, Molly O'Rourke

  • Greeters – Yari Serrano, Sue Mason

  • Zoom Aide – Britta Greene

  • In-Person Aides – Alex Meyer, Lesley Perg

  • Journalist – Mindy Johnson

Volunteer Training: Engaging and Connecting with Residents (6:00pm-6:30pm)

It is important to engage and connect with residents by creating a fun and welcoming environment. Master Gardeners and interns may use resources like signage, giveaways, educational materials, and props. Tailor messages to your specific audience (ie. youth). Time handouts (educational materials and fact sheets) so they are season appropriate. Keep in mind that people who don’t currently have a space at home can join a community garden or contribute in other ways by participating in garden-related programs in their area.

We’re always looking for ideas as to how to engage people in the community.

Project Updates (6:30pm-6:45pm)

MN State Fair

Master Gardener Q&A Booth:

DNR Booth (focus on invasive plants):

MN Landscape Arboretum Phenology Monitor:

Photo Challenges (Communications Committee)

Over the past couple of years RCMG has been collecting garden photos by Master Gardeners and interns for promotional purposes and educational materials (ie. Facebook, Instagram, website blog). It was suggested that not only beautiful photos of gardens, but also photos of garden damage - such as bug disease or plant wilt.

Stacy Sola, Communications Co-Chair, stated that we need more photos of people in action in the garden. Visuals are very impactful. Just make sure people in the community sign a photo release if they are identifiable. Children also need a parental consent form filled out to appear in photographs.

If you take pictures with residents, you will need to ask them to sign a Media Release Form, which gives RCMG permission to use the image with their likeness. You can find the Media Release Form on the RCMG Quick Links page and see examples of which images need and don't need a release form (HERE)

Take a look at the 2021 RCMG Activity Collection.

Exceptional LEAP Tour July 26, 2022

Simba Blood spoke about garden tours that are currently available. See PDF flier of the Exceptional LEAP tour from the Watershed District.

Habitat for Humanity

Nancy Joyer shared the RCMG was only able to staff 4 of 7 homes because of lack of response from volunteers. There are currently 3 homes without landscape designers for the August 13 planting event. She needs Master Gardeners to direct community volunteers and design garden spaces. Anybody interested needs to respond immediately (within the next day or two) as there is a great need.

Darren Lochner's Coordinator Updates (6:45pm-7pm)

Darren reminded RCMG volunteers and interns to record volunteer shift and educational hours.

He and Brianna also asked volunteers to complete the 2022 Skills and Interest Survey. RCMG and partners are often looking for Master Gardeners and interns with specific skill sets (ie. rose expertise) and the survey can help find the right volunteer for the perfect project. Master Gardeners and interns should have received a Skills and Interest survey by email.

Guest Lecture (7-8pm)

Sue Ellen Campbell introduces Danielle Brady, Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement and Hospitality from Open Arms. The organization delivers food to people with life threatening illnesses that are low-income. They have 5 urban farms in the Twin Cities area. The goal is to be welcoming and all-inclusive by meeting the needs of our diverse community. Danielle believes we are all one story away from understanding each other. She states she has been working with volunteers for 20 years. There is often a disconnect from volunteers and those they are volunteering to help as the volunteers often come from a place of privilege. Leading from a place of privilege often leads to walls being built rather than bridges.

She speaks of self-awareness and how we see through our own lens. She defines privilege, including white privilege, as unearned advantages that you are born into.

She also discusses poverty as a lack of resources, not just money. She shares - a website to simulate situations where you may be disadvantaged due to lack of resources. She talks about how to relate to others by listening, being curious instead of judgemental, avoiding leading with privilege, and being aware of the intent vs the impact of your words.

Note from Brianna: The video recording that we have comes from the November 2021 Hennepin County Master Gardener meeting. Due to technical difficulties, we forgot to press record at the Ramsey County meeting. Oops!

Video Links from the Guest Lecture

  • "Under The Surface" Empathy Film (video link):

  • John Amaechi on White Privilege (video link):

  • “Life is good” Playmakers (video link):

  • Spent (game):

Questions asked during the Guest Lecture

  • How do I know how comfortable others are when talking about issues?

  • How to be inclusive when language is a barrier?

(Answered via email after meeting) This is such a good question! I think what’s most important is that you are trying to bridge the gap and not expecting them to do all the work. Building relationships is the core of doing this work and learning about one another because it’s not just a one way street. It takes time and dedication.

First of all, think of what are you doing right now to meet this need? I would just be sure you are doing all you can to bridge this gap. Some examples would be:

1. Have brochures in the language spoken by the people you are working with. If you don't have any, hire someone from that community to translate existing brochures for you.

2. Intentionally build relationships within that community. This build trust and news of that can travel fast!

3. Hire someone from that community to help at the events. (I say hire because they are providing you a service and many cultures don’t understand “volunteering” in the same way you do. They probably help their neighbor or family members but going to an event and providing a service to another organization is more formally volunteering. Many times when working with different cultures I use the word “help” instead of "volunteering' because it’s more universally understood.)

4. Learn how to say basic sentences in their language of whatever information of what you are sharing.

5. As I said in the training, communication is over 90% non-verbal. So tone, body language, facial expressions and hand gestures should be coming from a place of trying to connect and kindness not frustration because they don’t speak English.

6. Use Google translation on your phone.

7. Read about cultures and communities where you volunteer to learn more about their experiences. Offer options to these cultures that makes sense to them — “Platinum rule” — think about how they do things instead of trying to fit them into the box of how you do things. This is exciting and opens minds to all lived experiences and seeing that there is no RIGHT way! Remember being curious creates momentum.

RCMG Business Meeting (7:45-8pm)

Education Committee

Sue Ellen Campbell states that next month there will be a SignUpGenius for the Gibbs farm tour with Washington County Master Gardeners. It is an in-person event only. It is a good opportunity for networking with other Master Gardeners.

The Garden Gate Tour at Aimee Schaefer's home was canceled this week because she will be participating in a triathlon that she qualified for. There will be more Garden Gate Tours in August on Thursdays and Sundays. It is a great opportunity to learn about gardens and also another opportunity to problem solve issues in the garden and get support and network.

Treasurer Update

Kathy Passe, Interim Treasurer, speaks of the 2022 plant sale. There were some crop failures with vendors but we were refunded for plants that did not grow well. We sold garden journals, pens, and gloves and they were a big hit! The biggest expense was plants provided by nurseries. Native plants were extremely popular. $960 went to supplies for master gardeners growing plants for the sale. We paid for renting the Holy Childhood church.

Darren Lochner reminded that volunteers are needed for the 2023 Plant Sale Committee. They can sign up on SignUpGenius or contact Cheryl Brady to join the Plant Sale Committee.

RCMG Board

Nate Galloway states that we need to start thinking before talking, and working together to make our state a better place to live.

Recap provided by Mindy Johnson


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