Happy New Year, Master Gardeners. I hope everyone is well and staying safe while we await an end to the COVID-19 crisis.
I am a bit nervous about taking the reins for JCMGA, both because of the difficulties we face due to the virus, but also because our last several presidents have left me big shoes to fill. I promise to do my best, despite the fact that most of our business will have to continue virtually.
This past year has been extremely hard on everyone. It is difficult to cope with all that has happened – to lose hope, as well as our tempers. So many among us have lost so much. I personally lost one of my closest friends in November to cancer and have had to isolate from my children and grandchildren. But we must persevere. What I want our organization to do in the coming year is unite around the common goals of community building, community education, member training and involvement, student retention, and a focused commitment by everyone to the success and survival of JCMGA.
My motto has always been, “Do one good thing a day to make a better world.” So, I am now making it my call to action for you. During my tenure as president, I would like to encourage all members of our Jackson County Master Gardeners Association to rally around and become more involved in our association.
If you have the time and willingness to be involved, we want you! Our board committees meet regularly, via Zoom, and are looking for volunteers for Member Services, Community Outreach, Fundraising, Communications, Garden Working Group and Program Support. These six committees are outlined in your 2020 JCMGA phone directory, on pages 34 and 35. If there is something of interest to you, please contact the person in charge. You can choose one, or many jobs. Jobs range from large to small.
An example from the Communications Working Group is someone willing to write a monthly column for the Garden Beet. Entitled “Get to Know Your Master Gardeners,” this column will feature one member gardener per month. The interview is conducted via email and the template of questions is already in place. Easy peasy. And, as always, we are looking for writers and members who have some experience with WordPress to help with our website.
Students in the 2020-2021 class, you can earn volunteer hours toward graduation through involvement in committee and board work. And, as the county, OSU and our Central Point campus begin to open up again, there will be opportunities to work in the Demonstration Gardens, and eventually, the Plant Clinic. Erika will keep us apprised of those opportunities.
This is my call to action for every member and student. Interest in gardening and growing food has skyrocketed in the past year and we know that gardening is a great way to improve lives. Now, more than ever, it is our mission to reach out and educate our community about gardening and it’s many benefits in the Rogue Valley. I hope you will join us in the important work we do. Help us make a better world.