The Communications Working Group began an in-depth review of our JCMGA website in early 2020. Throughout the pandemic, fires, and smoke, CWG members continued to evaluate our online presence and make modifications. Since JCMGA members will be asked to use the website during the October/November election and for member renewal which begins in mid-November, this is a good time to spend a few minutes exploring the updated website if you haven’t visited recently.
Our website is found at jacksoncountymga.org. Once you’ve arrived at the public home page, you’ll find that it consists primarily of nine tiles which represent various aspects of our organization. There is information about becoming a Master Gardener; a direct link to our online Native Plant Tour; specific directions regarding the Plant Clinic; a calendar; access to the Growing Oregon Gardeners classes, suggested readings, and (coming soon) videos and pertinent websites; access to the current and previous Garden Beet newsletters; in-depth information about the Demonstration Gardens; an explanation and listing of community gardens in the Rogue Valley; and a donation site. (Whew!)
There is additional information found in the green-lettered menu across the top of the page. The Home section provides information about what is available from Master Gardeners in Jackson County, a brief history of the overall Master Gardener program and the OSU Master Gardener Program. There is also a page that the public can use to contact JCMGA.
Events & Classes explains the various activities JCMGA provides within the community such as Master Gardener training, the Spring Garden Fair, Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens, Community Education classes, and the Native Plant Tour.
In the Community includes information about our school and community garden grants, a list of and links to our televised “In the Garden” mini-lessons, Seed to Supper Program, and Speaker’s Bureau.
Within the menu, there are also links to the calendar, Plant Clinic, Demonstration Gardens, and, within the Shop section, the ability to purchase our Garden Guides.
Articles from the current Garden Beet are also available at the bottom of the home page. And the green, horizontal band across the top of the page offers links to our Facebook and YouTube presence at the top left and the Garden Beet (no, that’s NOT a radish—it’s a beet) at the far top right .
In addition to the public face of our website, described above, the Home page of our website offers entry into our Member section, called the Greenhouse. To access the Member home page, click on the Member Portal on the top right green band (just to the left of the beet). You will be asked for your email address and password to enter. If you have forgotten your password, there is a process for obtaining a new one. Just click on Lost your Password?
Once you’ve entered the Greenhouse, you will find a list of specific member-oriented links listed vertically on the right of the page, short articles about Help Wanted, how to assist JCMGA in its fund-raising, and MG recertification is in the middle of the page.
The links provide an immense amount of information for members! They provide the opportunity to modify your member account (My Account), remind you of members who serve on the Board of Directors, provide a calendar of scheduled JCMGA meetings and events, contain the current Chapter Directory, and will offer classified ads in the future.
A new feature is called 2021 Members and Students. Since we are unable to update the directory once it is printed, the 2021 Members and Students link takes you to a spreadsheet listing the most current contact information we have for members, including member contact changes and members who have renewed since the directory was printed in the spring. This is the place to check if you want the most up-to-date information when contacting another member.
There are also links to the online member renewal form, student materials and Practicum information, and to the OSU volunteer reporting site. The most current version of the JCMGA Articles of Association, Member Bylaws, and Policies and Procedures are also located here. Although we are not currently conducting an election or survey, when election season arrives in mid-October, you will find the voting link in this list.
Although the Communications Working Group continues to upgrade the website, if you find an area of confusion or something you would like to see added or modified, please send your comments to Marcia Harris, the Chair of the Communications Working Group (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would appreciate hearing your thoughts and suggestions.