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Biweekly Update July 11, 2023 from Paula Lupcho, President

🍒 President’s Message

The annual open house for the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture is also coming up (this week) on Thursday, July 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a family friendly event and open to the community. BCMGA will also host a plant clinic table. We need 1 certified Master Gardener to help. The sign up information is under Volunteer Opportunities. More information about this event is available on the following link. If you have questions about volunteering, contact Paula Lupcho, or 541-929-3050.

Thank you to all Benton Master Gardeners who took the time to lobby your legislators on behalf of Extension and the Master Gardener Program. This grassroots campaign paid off. The legislature gave full funding to the Statewide Programs that will allow current service levels to be maintained. This means that 4 county home horticulture positions will be filled. This includes the Benton/Linn position.

A little over a week ago, I sent an email to all announcing that the Program Assistant 2 position would be an internal search that would allow volunteers or their spouses to apply. This position has been put on hold. Now that full funding has been approved, OSU Extension and Outreach will be hiring a Program Coordinator. Please read the message from Brooke Edmunds, Interim Statewide Master Gardener Coordinator, regarding the change in hiring strategy by Extension.

A Message from Brooke Edmunds

🍒 I shared just last week that we were going to move forward with hiring an Educational Program Assistant 2 as a quick internal hire to get immediate support for the program. However, since that time we heard that OSU Extension’s state funding has been approved. We were approved to refill the vacancies in a more permanent fashion. The latest I have heard is that they will move forward with hiring an Outreach Program Coordinator (OPC) to oversee the Master Gardener Programs in Linn and Benton County. This is a professional faculty role and requires a bachelor’s degree. The OPC will be able to work independently to oversee the Master Gardener Program. At a later date, an Educational Program Assistant may be hired as well.

Special Announcement

🍒 The BCMGA Board has approved special allocation funding to other local 501(c)(3) organizations for special projects. Applications must be submitted by a continuing Master Gardener and are due by July 31. The organization’s special project must be aligned with the goals and purposes of BCMGA. For a copy of the application and criteria, contact Jana Tindall for more information ( ).

BCMGA Committees may also apply for special allocations if you missed the first round earlier this year.

Trainee News & Opportunities

🍒 Congratulations to the trainees who have completed their hours for the trainee year and to those of you who are closing in on that goal! Please remember to enter your hours in the Volunteer Reporting System (VRS) . This is very important. It will be a great help to mentors as they help you reach your goal. If you have questions about where to log your hours, contact your mentor or Paula Lupcho .


🍒 Summer Tours: A Message from Lynn Trimpe, Vice President.

On Wednesday, July 19, at 9:30, we will have the opportunity to walk through the Inspiration Garden in Independence. This demonstration garden is part of the 7-acre Mt. Fir Park, formerly the property of the Mt. Fir Lumber Company. Inspiration Garden has been a project of the Polk County Master Gardener Association (PCMGA) since 2013 and has nearly two dozen different garden areas. The newest addition is the Peace Garden, which centers around a gingko tree grown from a seed that survived the bombing of Hiroshima. Other garden attractions include specimen trees, plants for pollinators, an Asian garden, roses, a recreated oak savannah, vegetable gardens and more.

Volunteers from the PCMGA will be available to lead folks through the various garden areas and talk about the project. Inspiration Garden is located at 799 F St. in Independence.

Directions and parking: If you are traveling north on Highway 99W, turn right at the stop light in Monmouth, so you are traveling east on Main Street. Follow that into Independence and turn south (right) on 7th Street. At F Street, turn right again (west) and travel about one block to a gravel parking lot for Mt. Fir Park, where Inspiration Garden is located. There is also a small parking lot if you continue south to G Street and turn right. There should be one handicapped spot and three other parking spaces (if compost gets moved by then).

More information:

A description of Inspiration Garden appears on the Independence city website:

Volunteer Opportunities

🍒 NEW. Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture: The Annual Open House is Thursday, July 13, 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. One certified Master Gardener is needed for the BCMGA Plant Clinic table at this event. Three trainees have also signed up to be at the BCMGA table. Log hours as Plant Clinic-Direct.

🍒 NEW. Oregon State Fair. Multiple shifts 8/24-9/5. Come share your garden love and lore with fairgoers in Salem. Our activity and info booth will be located inside the air-conditioned lobby of the Farm & Garden/Floral Building. A fair admission ticket and parking pass is provided. Sign up here. Make sure to include your county so tickets can get to your Extension office. Record as ‘Plant Clinic’ in VRS.

🍒 Demo Garden: Volunteer at the Demonstration Garden. Every Wednesday 9:30-11:30 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

🍒 PLANT CLINIC at Farmers Market (Corvallis): Certified Master Gardeners are needed to work during the shifts listed below. Time of clinic table is 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Contact Debbie Lauer directly by calling 541-929-7544 or texting 541-602-3138.

Available dates are:

· Wed., Sep 27--1 certified Master Gardener needed

Mentors, if you would like to work at the plant clinic with your trainee, contact Debbie so that she can accommodate you.

🍒 NEW. The Public Seed Library's next event will be a special event plant clinic on "Summer Crop Questions & Planting for A Fall/Winter Vegetable Garden", July 29 from 9:30 am - 1pm. Contact Jill Farrow at if you would like to participate.

🍒 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!

🍒 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

🍒 Public Seed Library: Seed Donations to Public Seed Library: If you've started your summer crops and have left over seeds, individual donations of open and partially used vegetable, herb, and flower commercial seed packets packed for '22 and '23 are needed now to restock the Public Seed Library seed rack, and can be donated any time at the Corvallis Library Circulation Desk.

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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