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January JCMGA Working Groups — Celebrating 2023 Summaries

By December 31, 2023Beet 2024 01 January



Community Outreach Working Group

Chair, Ronnie Budge

School Grants:

We awarded the following School Grants: Abraham Lincoln Elementary $250 (for potting soil, pots); Madrone Trail Charter School $600 (for hand tools, wagons); South Medford High School $500 (for soil, bulbs, containers, worms for composting); and Jefferson Elementary School $2,170. This last amount is more money than JCMGA usually awards. However, it is to be used for significant refurbishing, including improvements to the irrigation system, of a large garden that is maintained by students during the school year and as a community garden during the summer.

Community Gardens:

We still do not have a JCMGA chair for the Community Gardens Committee. Without a chair who is a JCMGA member, we cannot administer the grants program. The chair could also attend the Network meetings to see if there are other ways JCMGA can provide support and be a contact person for individuals in the community who are looking for a location where they can garden. Ronnie and Grace will each try to find willing volunteers to chair or co-chair the committee.

Speakers Bureau:

It was noted that although attendance has been sparse at gardening presentations given in person or via Zoom for the public library, the recordings have each been viewed 30-100 times on the library’s YouTube page. We are working on more ways to publicize the library presentations. There will be a spring series with a “natives” theme and Colet Allen is seeking presenters for fall and winter programs with themes yet to be decided.


Fundraising Working Group

Chair, Sandy Hammond

The JCMGA Fundraising Working Group has fun while working on ways to make money for JCMGA.  Without its efforts, JCMGA would struggle to implement many of its programs.

There are several ways we raise funds. Selling JCMGA’s two volumes of Garden Guides to many vendors in Jackson and Josephine Counties has been a strong success.

The Fundraising Group is involved in searching for grants. This year we received a grant to help pay for beautiful new paved paths in the Lavender Garden.

We also have an ongoing bottle and can return project. Anyone who wishes to donate their own returnable items will find the bags to use in the entrance of the Extension.

This year we had a Fall Festival in October at the Extension grounds. We learned a great deal, as this was our first attempt at holding a Fall Festival.

We are always looking for additional ways to raise funds.  The group meets once a month at the Extension. We would love to have more volunteers join this jovial group.

The new 2024 chair is Jane Moyer, who would like to hear from you if you want to participate. Please contact her at


Garden Enhancement Working Group 

Chair, Janine Salvatti

In 2023, the Garden Enhancement Working Group accomplished the following:

  • Installed beautiful large-scale interpretive signs for the Native Plant Garden and Water Catchment project.
  • Our two biggest and most labor-intensive projects were:
    • Pathways: hauled and spread DG on several pathways in the gardens and tried to keep all communal pathways weed-free.
    • Fig Grove: pruned trees, weeded, card-boarded area, completely covered with wood chips.
  • Contracted to have trees on the south side of the gardens pruned, including the iconic white oak in the Gathering Place.
  • Signs and information boxes
    • Installed the “Gardens open” feather flag
    • Reinstalled info boxes and information sheets for each garden.
  • Maintained the Gathering Place and planted a colorful flower garden in the raised beds.
  • Maintained the planting area near the entry sign.
  • Created and hosted a new event/workshop – Glass Art Mosaics for the Garden.
  • Assisted in giving Garden Tours to 6 local Garden Clubs over a 2-month period in the summer.


Marketing and Technology Working Group

Chair – temporary – Barbara Low

We were busy this year keeping the technology part of JCMGA helping to promote our organization and all that we do.

We are planning to continue to work on using technology and marketing to promote JCMGA this year.

Our new co-chairs for 2024 will be Randa Linthwaite and Barbara Low.


Member Services Working Group

Chair, Barbara Low

We had a very bury year!

We organized successful events –

  • 1st lunch for 2023 Student Master Gardener class
  • Plant A Row (food for Access)
  • JCMGA Member Annual and Awards Picnic
  • 2023 Student Master Gardener class Graduation Celebration

We worked jointly with the Community Outreach Working Group to create and present a proposal concerning the Friends of the Gardens program to the JCMGA Board.  This proposal was approved.  We are continuing to work together to complete the details and plan to have the Friends of the Gardens program start in April.

The Member Services WG sent out a member survey and are now looking at the data to help to make plans for 2024.


Program Support Working Group

Chair is Grace Florjancic

We had a 2023 OSU Student Master Gardener Class.  It was a great class including enthusiastic students and wonderful presenters.  We had 45 students graduate.

In 2024 we are bringing back our Seed to Supper classes! Seed to Supper is a 6 weeklong basic vegetable gardening class for folks in our county with lower incomes to help increase food security in our communities. This program was put on hold during the past few years but is coming back. We have a few locations in the county to pick out to hold these classes, but we need instructors! The more instructors we have, the more classes we can hold next year. If you are a certified Master Gardener looking to help with this program, contact Grace Florjancic at


Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Working Group

chairs are Colet Allen, Susan Koenig, and Barbara Low

We had a very successful event this Fall!

The Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023 included a wide variety of gardening topics presented by 14 knowledgeable and experienced presenters.  This was a four-day event, and we had 105 people register for the event.  Recordings of the presentations were made available until the end of December to those who registered.

We have already started planning for the WDSG 2024 event which will be October 18, 19, 25, and 26.  This will again be a virtual event.