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BCMGA Biweekly Newsletter January 23 from President Brenda Bye

President’s Message  

❄️If you have checked out the website recently, you have noticed that the calendar is starting to fill with activities. For many newer members it can be difficult to know how to get involved. A great place to start is reaching out to our dedicated committee chairs, who are the heartbeat of our organization. If you want to teach gardening classes, the Community Garden Education Team (CGET) could use your enthusiasm. If you want to work on school gardens, Nellie Oehler has been running the Adams School Garden for years and Susan Hoffman is working to restart the program at Mountain View. Reach out and get involved. The full list of committees and their chairs are listed in the front of the Membership Directory and on our website

For those seeking to expand their horticultural wisdom, don't miss our 'Gearing up for Gardening' lectures continuing every Tuesday in the library until February 27th. It's a fantastic way to pick up Continuing Education Credits and learn valuable insights to prepare for the upcoming growing season. The list of classes is at the bottom of the newsletter.

As we eagerly anticipate the blooming days of spring, our attention turns to the much-anticipated plant sale. Keep a close eye on your emails and our volunteer page for upcoming opportunities to get involved. Your participation is the driving force behind the success of these events.

On a bittersweet note, Debbie Lauer is retiring from her role as organizer of the Clinic Table at the Farmer’s Market. We are on the lookout for new faces to carry on this essential aspect of our community involvement. If you have a passion for connecting with the community and welcoming new friends, we encourage you to step forward and be part of this wonderful endeavor.

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

LaSells Stewart Center

❄️ Insights into Gardening is Benton County Master Gardener Association’s largest educational event of the year. This is a day long event with 16 different classes on offer for all levels of experience. If you want to attend as a participant the cost is $45 and classes will count for your Continuing Education hours. Find more information and register online at

We are still looking for volunteers for a variety of jobs including sending cookies, door monitors and clean-up. SignUp Genius 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.

BCMGA Membership Meeting - Monday January 29, 2024

❄️ Co-Vice Presidents Lynn Trimpe and Michelle Brown welcome all BCMGA members to the next membership meeting for socialization and Continuing Education credits. Coffee and tea are provided and feel free to bring a treat. Raffle prizes for in-person attendees. 

Location: Extension Building, Sunset Room

Use East side entrance (other doors locked at night)

Format: Hybrid meeting (in-person and via Zoom)

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., program starts at 7:00 p.m.

January Program, January 29, 2024: Presented by Michael Ahr, Natural Resource Conservation Program Manager, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District. Topic: Common yard invaders and the threat of ecological impact; Emphasis on tracking oblong spurge (Euphorbia oblongata) and other species; Seasonal actions for reducing the spread of noxious weeds as spring approaches; Q&A session, attendees can bring questions or samples of noxious weeds

February Program, February 19, 2024 Presented by Dr. Gail Langellotto, Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State University. Topic: We Study Gardens: An Update from OSU’s Garden Ecology Lab. 

**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 still needs volunteers to 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. To get refresher training on working at the desk 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 

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 - These Events are NOT Approved by Extension for Continuing Education

❄️ Grand Prairie Albany Gardening Club - First Quarter Talks 

  • Meets on the second Thursday of the month at 1PM at the Albany Public Library  

  • For more information contact Sheryl Casteen 

or go to their Facebook page

❄️ Public Seed Library is a collaborative project of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. 

  • Seed Library Lecture Series - begins February 22, 2024 from 12:30 to 2PM  

Starting Growing Tomatoes and Peppers

  • Seeking Volunteers - Currently under review by OSU Extension for Volunteer Credit

See the Sign Up Genius for more information

  • Event Table Seed Sharing, Q&A

  • Pop-Up Public Seed Library Plant Clinic

  • Seed Rack Stocking

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