Master Gardener Community Projects
Radio Show - For about 18 years, Darryl Boom and Chip have recorded a 10 minute gardening spot that broadcasts on KOHI every Saturday at 8:05 a.m. There are additional opportunities to do radio spots and public service announcements on gardening topics. Some skill with digital recording and access to suitable equipment required.
Publicity - Newspapers and other venues are important in getting both our educational messages and Master Gardener Association information to the public. There are lots of opportunities to expand this effort.
Public Speaking - We get a lot of requests for speakers from garden clubs and other groups. If you have a special gardening interest and wish to develop your speaking skills, you are needed. The OSU Extension Service office will provide help and guidance.
Writing - There is always a need for people to write for the radio show, publicity and public speaking activities described above, for the OSU Extension Service's newsletter, Country Living, for educational news releases, and for more in-depth pieces for local or regional distribution (one of our Master Gardener's has written articles that were distributed statewide by OSU).
On-Site Diagnostic Clinics - Each Saturday from May to August at the farmers market in Scappoose; one day at the Oregon State Fair; four days at the Demonstration Garden at the Columbia County Fair in July; and one day at the Sauerkraut festival. Other options explored as they come up. Diagnostic clinics answer public questions regarding plant identification and care, pest identification and management, and other topics covered in class. New Master Gardeners are certified and gain invaluable experience in these clinics. Veteran Master Gardeners need to re-certify by taking a written test before participating (maximum 6 hours continuing education credit upon completion of test).
Demonstration Garden - Located at the Columbia County Event Complex (formerly known as the Fairgrounds), this garden space is meant to educate the public about gardening techniques, design, new plant varieties, etc. Considerable time and effort is required to prepare, plant, and maintain the garden prior to, during, and for several months after the Fair. Manned by Master Gardener volunteers, it is open for viewing and tours during the Fair in July, and we want to promote more public activities there at other times of the year.
Insect Collection - There is a growing insect collection and insect identification group. This is a chance to learn something about the most successful organisms on earth. This collection is useful at diagnostic clinics and available at our Spring Fair.
Youth Gardening Program - This is still in the formative stage. There is a program at Lewis and Clark grade school in St. Helens that one of our Master Gardeners has worked with for several years. A number of Master Gardeners have been volunteering on an educational program at a Metro/ Sauvie Island Farms partnership teaching grade school children about farming and the ecology of the areas around the farm and park.
Scappoose Bay Watershed Council Native Plant Greenhouse: SBWC has an on-going project at Scappoose High School to raise native plants from seeds, cuttings and already started plants to be used for critical riparian area re-vegetation. Possibility of work with High School students although most of the work has been done by adult volunteers to date.
Community Gardens - There is an existing community garden in St. Helens, Scappoose, Rainier, an evolving one in Vernonia and one in Clatskanie. In addition, several churches throughout the region are starting food bank gardens. These are very important efforts and help to improve both local food production for food banks and to increase gardening knowledge. Any help you can give to these programs will be greatly appreciated.
Special Projects: Periodically, there are special projects designed to respond to specific needs which can also satisfy payback hours or count as volunteer hours for Veteran Master Gardeners.