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September 2023 Monthly Meeting Recap

Our guest speaker discusses future programs incorporating outdoor spaces as restorative landscapes, healing gardens, and therapeutic gardens


The September monthly meeting was held both online via Zoom and in-person at the Roseville Oval from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m on Tuesday, September 19. Watching the recording of this meeting can be counted as 2 hours of Continuing Education. (Find the recording in the Archives of the Monthly Meeting page.)

Reminder on Monthly Meeting Etiquette

If you’re in person:

  • Use the mic when speaking

  • Say your name when speaking

  • Use notecards to ask questions

  • Introduce yourself to someone new

  • Keep the tables clean

If you’re online:

  • Mute your mic while you listen

  • Say your name when you speak

  • Enter your questions into the chat or hold on until the end


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

  • Education Committee: Jane Carlstrom & Simba Blood

  • Project Leaders: Dawn Pape

  • Journalist: Mindy Johnson

  • Room-Set: Shanna Hoffman & Scott Beary

  • Greeters: Diane Hartinger & Alanna Kennedy

  • TimeKeeper: Shanna Hoffman

  • Zoom Aide: Kit Leffler

  • Room Clean-up: Shanna Hoffman

Board News (6:30-6:45)

2023 Bylaws Revision Overview (Sandy McDonald, 2023 Board Chair)

A select group of the board has been updating the RCMG Bylaws. Sandy answered the questions: what are the bylaws and why do they matter? Special thank you to Julie Bechtold, Karen Randall, Darren Lochner, Brianna Gohde, Alex Meyer (attorney) and other volunteers who worked on the Bylaws revisions. It was noted that RCMG is the only county in Minnesota which is their own 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Sandy discussed the RASCI chart: A RASCI chart—also known as a RACI matrix or responsibility assignment matrix— is a simple diagram used in project management to map task roles and responsibilities. RASCI stands for:

  • Responsible

  • Accountable

  • Supported

  • Consulted

  • Informed.

It was discussed that in 2024 the board would like to have a financial committee, as there currently isn’t one.

RCMG volunteers are asked to help with the bylaw approval process by voting, bylaws would pass with a majority ruling. Tomorrow (Sept 20) all RCMG volunteers will receive an email of the documents given at the in person meeting, information about the update will be added to the RCMG "Volunteer News" blog, and there will be two ZOOM meetings for those who would like to discuss the approval process. An email ballot will be sent October 18 to eligible members for voting. (Eligible volunteers will be those who have met all their volunteer requirements by Oct 17.)

Project Updates (7:00-7:05 pm)

Soil Health Advocates (Ann WhiteEagle, Ramsey County Parks and Rec Soil and Water Division)

Ann shares a presentation regarding the pilot project, Cover Cropping with Cereal Rye. The grant for the project is through the Board of Water and Soil Resources. She states that cover crops are not typical in urban spaces, but they wanted to try it and it was recommended by Samantha Wells from UMN to use cereal rye.

Dawn Pape (RCMG volunteer) mentions that 20 RCMG volunteers signed up to help so far with the late season cover crops trials. Bags of seed were handed out at the meeting (winter cereal rye grass). Dawn discusses cover cropping and the importance of soil to gardeners.

Feedback is needed by volunteers who grow cover crops in their home gardens. She went over requirements to volunteer.

Darren Lochner's Coordinator Updates (7:05pm-7:15pm)

Gentle reminder to enter your volunteer and educational hours.

State Program News

  • A continuous reminder the state master gardener email goes out the first week of the month from Tim Kenny.

  • Central Region Master Gardener Gathering at UROC in Minneapolis- Sept 30


  • Intern-Mentor Celebration happening on October 1st at Roseville Library 3 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Interns: please return the survey to reflect on your experience as an intern over the past year.

  • If you have educational kit supplies at home please return them to the Diagnostic Clinic.

  • Volunteers are needed for the Ramsey County Yard Waste sites. Shifts are two hours each. RCMG receives funding for fulfilled shifts.

Guest Lecture (7:15-8pm)

Healing Gardens (Heather Benson)

RCMG Healing Garden project facilitator Martha Lantz introduces guest speaker Heather Benson. Heather is a nature based therapist who provides services to promote integrative health for youth and adults.

Heather’s presentation is focused on her work at the Masonic Children’s Hospital. She speaks about how technology oftentimes distracts from the natural healing process. She goes over her educational and career background. She talks about her Nature Notes program that helps increase happiness, reduces anxiety, reduces stress, and provides other wellbeing benefits.

She talks about programs that are currently available such as the Seeds to Supper: Nature Based Therapy Event, Nature-Based Therapy TV shows that offer yoga and other activities, Nature-Based Therapy “Live” TV Shows, and a 1:1 patient care program (sensory or cognitive stimulation to patients).

She concludes by discussing future programs incorporating outdoor space: restorative landscape, healing garden, therapeutic garden and she goes over the differences between these landscapes.

Heather's contact info:

Questions from the audience

  • Will there be a water feature at the patio?

  • Are you available for consultation for any RCMG projects interested in incorporating these concepts?

  • Are there volunteer opportunities for any of the existing or future programs?

  • Where does funding come from for the programs?

Recap provided by Mindy Johnson


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