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BCMGA Biweekly Newsletter from Brenda Bye, President

🎊🎉 Happy 2024 Master Gardeners! During my reflections on 2023, I found myself amazed at the collective dedication that led to our biggest plant sale to date, a testament to our passion for growing and sharing our love of plants. Additionally we welcomed a large and enthusiastic class or new Master Gardeners to bolster our community and infuse it with fresh perspectives and energy.

As the new year spreads before us, we start with a number of educational opportunities to fill your continuing education requirements. This week kicks off the Gearing Up for Gardening series of lectures at the library beginning Tuesday January, 9th at noon. This free series is open to the public and offers a variety of interesting gardening topics. The schedule is available under the events tab above.

Registration for Insights into Gardening is open now and filling up fast. This one day gardening conference is one of BCMGA’s biggest public educational events and even draws Master Gardeners from other counties in the area. Read more about it below.

Finally, we want to encourage new and returning Master Gardeners to attend Membership Meetings this year. Meetings are offered monthly during winter and spring with the chance to socialize and get continuing education credits. This month’s meeting is on Monday January 29th and is being given by Michael Ahr from Benton Soil and Water Conservation District. More information below.

I will wrap up with the reminder to look at the BCMGA website. In the membership area, there is a new calendar feature that has many activities listed and more being added regularly. You can also sign up for volunteer hours and find information about our committees.

The 33rd Annual Insights into Gardening—Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024

LaSells Stewart Center

🥦 Insights into Gardening is a day-long series of seminars for gardeners of all abilities and levels of experience. Participants choose from 16 classes offered in four concurrent sessions. In addition to classes, there will be exhibitors, a bookstore, and a raffle for some great prizes. Parking is free.

Sponsored by the Benton County Master Gardener Association. The cost is $45 and proceeds from this event help fund educational outreach.All registration will be online and is OPEN now. The class schedule is available on our website. Go to for more information and on-line registration. Classes fill quickly so don’t delay!

This is our most significant educational conference of the year. It is a great opportunity to enjoy learning (continuing education hours) and accrue volunteer hours for 2024. You can attend classes or just volunteer, but doing both is a pretty good deal. You can register for IIG and then go to the SignUpGenius website and pick your volunteer job.

If you have questions about volunteering, contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Susan Hoffman at or text/call 541-602-4504.

Message from Lynn Trimpe, Vice President

🥦 The BCMGA Membership Meeting will be held on Monday, January 29. This meeting is open to all BCMGA members. The program counts toward Continuing Education recertification hours. The meeting will be hybrid (in-person and via Zoom). The doors at the Sunset building open at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7:00 p.m. Everyone should use the East side entrance as all other doors to the building are locked at night. We encourage you to come in person and enjoy some social time before and after the meeting. Coffee and tea are provided and we would welcome any treat you would like to bring. We also have a raffle for those who attend in person. You get 1 ticket for attending, 2 tickets if you wear your badge, and 3 tickets if you wear your badge and bring a treat.

The program for January will be by Michael Ahr, Natural Resource Conservation Program Manager, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District. Michael will talk about common yard invaders that have a threat of causing ecological impact as they move into natural areas. He will emphasize the importance of tracking oblong spurge (Euphorbia oblongata) specifically, but will cover several other species as well. He will highlight some seasonal actions that gardeners can think about to reduce the spread of noxious weeds as spring rapidly approaches. Attendees are welcome to bring various questions, or even samples of noxious weeds that they’ve found. He tells us that he may not have all the answers, but often other participants can help with some advice if I don’t have an answer.

Please also mark your calendar for the next meeting on Monday, February 19th with Dr. Gail Langellotto.

**If you have ideas about speakers/topics for our membership meetings, please contact Lynn Trimpe or Michelle Brown with your suggestions.


🥦 Clinic Table at the Farmer’s Market needs new leadership. Debbie Lauer has done an amazing job with this for many years and now BCMGA needs several people to take over this important job. If you have any interest please

🥦 Recertification Certificates are still available at the Extension Office. If they are not picked up by next month they will be recycled.

🥦 Desk Winter Hours: Plant Clinic in the Office will be Tuesdays and Thursdays. Morning and afternoon shifts are available.

Volunteer Opportunities

🥦 Setup Help for Gearing Up for Gardening The committee needs two volunteers help with setup and teardown for lectures during January and February.

Master Gardener Desk (Office Plant Clinic): Winter hours are now in effect. The desk will operate on a Tuesday & Thursday schedule. There will be a new Signup Genius posted soon.

Alan Taylor, Mentor Coordinator, would like to let people know that certified MGs could come in at other times to work on voicemail or email submissions or to get refresher training on working at the desk. In the latter case, contact Alan Taylor ( ) to arrange for a trainer. Without an advertised “open desk” it should give some opportunities for quiet time to get these things done.

Find more opportunities on the Benton Volunteer Opportunities Page.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Each program year current Master Gardener volunteers are asked to recertify by completing 10 hours of approved continuing education and 20 hours of volunteering. This ensures that your horticultural knowledge stays current. All the opportunities in this section count towards that goal. Try to get one hour of CE on a diversity, equity, or inclusion related topic.

🥦 Webinars. Opportunities from across the state are listed on the OSU Master Gardener Program’s event page. Record each as one hour of continuing education.

🥦 New OSU Publication. Gardens are for Everyone. Read and write a summary paragraph of how you will apply this as a Master Gardener volunteer for one hour of continuing education.

🥦 Anytime. Recordings of Zoom Master Gardener training from Curry County with guest lecturers from OSU and beyond, are available for any volunteer to take as continuing education. Trainees are also welcome to watch and supplement their classes. More links are being added weekly, see the current list log on to the attached website.

Extension News

"Happy New Year! I hope you have had a restful holiday and enjoyed quality family time. I look forward to working with you all this year. Thank you all for all the incredible work done last year in the community." Otillia Schreuder - Linn and Benton Master Gardener Coordinator

Need help finding information from Extension? Here are some important links to access information.

  • Solve Pest Problems: A new tool from OSU Extension to help manage pests around your home and garden with reduced risk to people, pets, and the environment

  • Have a gardening question? Get help at:.

  • Interested in gardening classes and events?

Current volunteers:

Community Events

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