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Biweekly Update for Sept. 12, 2023 from Paula Lupcho, President

President’s Message

🍑 It’s Picnic Time! I hope to see many of you tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 13, 5-7 p.m.) at our annual September picnic. This is purely social and we welcome families, partners, and significant others to join us. Bring a dish to share. A-H side dish or appetizer, I-P main dish, O-Z dessert. Bottled water and table service will be provided. The picnic will be held at the Philomath City Park, 299 S 23rd St., Philomath.

In the interest of full disclosure, I want everyone to know that for the next several weeks, I will be a NAG! It is that time of year when everyone needs to figure out their hours and enter them into the VRS system. Yes, I know. This isn’t at the top of my “fun things to do” list, but it is important for both the extension program and the association. So, please, pencil in some time on your calendar and just do it!

Sherry Sheng, chair of the OMGA Advocacy Taskforce, recently sent out a summary of the taskforce’s work over the past year. After meeting with Dr. Ivory Lyles to determine priorities, the taskforce got organized and planned the campaign strategy in October through December 2022. Advocacy tools were shared with each chapter and MGs throughout the state. From February through May, Master Gardeners let their legislators know that they wanted appropriate levels of funding for Extension Programs. All 23 MG chapters were represented on this taskforce. I would like to thank our Benton representatives Judith Kenner and Brenda Bye for their contributions and to congratulate all of you on the work you put into this effort. The results were outstanding. And, as a result of the excellent outcome, the Linn-Benton Home Horticulture position is being filled. Please see the Special Announcement below about this.

Special Announcement

🍑 Save the Date: Monday, September 18. Extension will be hosting three candidates for the Linn-Benton Master Gardener and Home Horticulture Outreach Program. There will be 3 public presentations via Zoom. All Benton Master Gardeners are invited and encouraged to attend. MGs may ask questions using the Q&A function and will be read aloud by the moderator. A link to a survey form will be provided. Names, bios of the candidates, and the Zoom link will be provided closer to the interview date, so stay tuned. The presentation schedule is:

11:15 to 12 p.m. Candidate 1

12:15 to 1 p.m. Candidate 2

2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Candidate 3

Trainee News & Opportunities

🍑 The Master Gardener year ends Oct. 31. Please log your hours in the Volunteer Reporting System (VRS) . If you have questions about entering your hours, contact your mentor or Paula Lupcho at .


🍑 A Message from Lynn Trimpe, Vice President: The speaker for the October 16 membership meeting will be Michael Ahr. He will speak on common yard invaders (weeds) that can have a negative ecological impact as they move into natural areas. He will emphasize the importance of tracking oblong spurge (Euphorbia oblongata), but will cover several other species as well. He will highlight some seasonal actions that gardeners can take in October to reduce the spread of noxious weeds. Attendees are welcome to bring samples of noxious weeds that they have found, along with any question that members may have.

🍑 BCMGA Board 2024: Interested in participating in BCMGA as a board member? Contact President Elect Brenda Bye for more information (

Volunteer Opportunities

🍑 Salmon Watch: This is sponsored by Benton County Water and Conservation District and takes place in October and November. It is an immersive environmental education program for local 4th-8th graders that allows student to explore the streams and forest in Clemens Park just outside Alsea. There are 4 interactive stations with activities. MGs who would like to participate at the native plant activity station may count this as plant clinic hours. There is a new volunteer session on Sept. 16 (sign up: ). For more information about Salmon Watch visit: :

🍑 Demo Garden: Volunteer at the Demonstration Garden. Every Wednesday 9:00-11:00 a.m. Come when you can, as often as you can, and help grow vegetables, herbs and fruit. The Demo Garden is on the south side of the Benton County Fairgrounds. Enter through the driveway for Benton Oak RV Park on 53rd St and go to the left. Wednesday work hours count as indirect--garden maintenance. Event staffing, which occurs through the summer on weekends and during the Benton County Fair, count as direct--plant clinic. For more information, text or call Rosalind at 541 908 3991. Email

🍑 Master Gardener Desk (Office Plant Clinic): The office is open and there are questions coming in from the public. Volunteers are encouraged to return to the desk, in particular certified MGs comfortable with the pH meter and the microscope are needed. Sign up for shifts to answer client questions or practice skills. You can either work at the desk or in the Extension conference room if you’d like more space.

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. And please make sure to record these hours in VRS!

🍑 Public Seed Library: A lecture will be presented on Thursday, September 14 from noon - 1pm, by Darren Morgan of Shonnard's Nursery discussing soil tending, from soil testing and amending to cover crops and covering.

🍑 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.

🍑 New OSU Publication. Grow Your Own Peppers. 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.

Community Opportunities

🍑 Corvallis Central Park Clean-Up: Tuesday, Sept. 19 (9-11 a.m.) the Corvallis Parks and Rec. Department is sponsoring a community clean-up that will take place in Central Park. Those interested in participating should meet by the playground. Bring gloves and any tools that may be useful. (This activity does not count toward Master Gardener hours.)

Extension News

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

  • Have a gardening question? Get help at:.

  • Interested in gardening classes and events?

  • Want to join Master Gardeners? Contact Benton County Extension Office, 541-713-5000

  • Want to partner with Master Gardeners? Please contact Brooke Edmunds to get connected:

Current volunteers:

  • Need information about training, volunteering, or logging hours? First check the Volunteer Sourcebook and website.

  • Need a sign-up, promotions, or printing for an upcoming event?

  • First, use the Event Checklist to collect all needed information

  • In Benton County send to Nicole Mason Martin:

  • In Linn County send to Laurie Gibson:

  • Need to update your contact information? Need a badge?

  • Contact Laurie Gibson:

  • All other questions:

  • Please contact Brooke Edmunds:

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