Master Gardener Community Projects
Radio Show - For about 25 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 OSU Columbia County Extension Service's newsletter, Country Living, to produce educational news releases, and do develop 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 - One day at the Oregon State Fair; five days at the Demonstration Garden at the Columbia County Fair in July. 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 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. The public contact is mostly during County Fair in July. We want to promote more public activities there at other times of the year. Demo work parties are on Mondays, April through September from 10 a.m. to Noon.
Insect Collection - Several MGs from the 2010 class revived the insect collection. They have been attending curation get-togethers at the Experiment Station in Aurora. The collection travels in boxes to various clinic events, school talks, and the like. It is a great program with an interesting mission.
Youth Gardening Program - A number of MGs 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. The Vernonia MGs have been working on a garden in conjunction with the development of the new school and new curriculum. Some MGs in Clatskanie have been working on in-school programs there. A 4-H Gardening club is always a possibility.
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, one in Scappoose, an evolving one in Vernonia in conjunction with the new school setting, and a two 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. It is critical that pour volunteers devoted significant hours to one of these gardens.
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.