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 This page contains news for Master Gardeners broken down into the following areas:
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"News You Can Use"
Important News and Upcoming Events
Special Volunteer Opportunities

Current "Trumpet Vine" Newsletter - Publication Suspended

"News You Can Use"
News You Can Use" is a weekly newsletter issued by the OSU Extension, which newsletter contains timely information for Cuyahoga County Master Gardeners. The newsletter includes statewide events and programs of interest to Master Gardeners. Please provide information on your events to MGV Program Coordinator Tammy Currier at the Extension Office,, 330-599-7734.

Recent issues of "New You Can Use" are linked below:





Important News and Upcoming Event

2021 Plants in the Park
We want to make you aware that Plants in the Park Pandemic version (PiPP) will take place in June of this year.  However, it will most likely be held in a modified format, as you might have guessed.  While we have reserved the Kiwanis pavilion for Thursday - Saturday (June 3-5), distancing measures will still be needed. So, we are hoping to have a somewhat scaled down plant sale, plus provide opportunities for volunteer hours.  Keep in mind this is a continually changing landscape, but we are trying to maximize MGV opportunities for both volunteer hours and shopping at PiPP.  At this point, we think it will look like this:

  • We will not use some of the same outside vendors this year so will not offer our annual basket arrangements and will have a smaller Connoisseur section. 
  • We will instead rely on MGVs seeding plants and digging and dividing.  
  • Due to social distancing directives from both OSU and Independence/Kiwanis Pavilion personnel, we would like MGVs to take on more responsibilities, including cleaning their pots and labeling them, at home.  
  • The good news is that this means as many, or more, volunteer hours can be earned as in past years.  
  • At this point we plan to use Thursday to have MG Volunteers outside to check plants in and MG Volunteers inside to arrange and price them. 
  • Friday and Saturday are the sale days. Time TBD.  
  • Volunteer slots will again be in shifts. 
  • On Friday and Saturday, people shopping (whether MGVs or the public) will have to schedule a 30-minute time slot to shop and there will be no entry for people who have not signed up. (This is tentative—we’re working on the details for all this.) 
  • We will plan to offer Holds, but will have cardboard and markers for shoppers to mark their items in order to limit the direct contact with our MG volunteers. 
  • Cashier stations will have Plexiglass barriers. 
  • Payment will be by cash or check.

In hopes of maximizing volunteer hours, we encourage all who are starting seeds for your vegetables and perennials to plant extra for PiPP.  That time counts toward volunteer hours. When we send out this call we will ask for a list of what you are planting. You will not be held to this early list—closer to the sale we will ask for a more defined list. This will help in planning and in advertising.
If you would like more information on starting vegetable seeds at home, you can refer to this Summit County presentation:
We will send out a call to dig and divide perennial plants and ask for a list of what you plan to send (again, a tentative list first with a final list when we are ready to gather the plants.) We would also like to know how big the pots are as this can help in streamlining pricing.
We will require that masks be worn and have plenty of wipes available. There will be no food served and we will not have a Reference table. Finally, the bathrooms are for MGV use only—no public access.
Please watch for our forthcoming pleas for plants and, in the meantime, think about what seeds you might grow!
Email us if you have any questions. Happy Gardening!


2020 Annual Meeting
The 2020 Annual Meeting has been postponed. It is held at the Parma Snow Library from 5:30 pm -8:00 pm with dinner included.

2018 State MG Awards
Congratulations are in order: 
-Congratulations to Pat Koch who was named Outstanding Master Gardener!  Well deserved, Pat.
-Our Therapeutic Horticulture program won an Outstanding Master Gardener Project– with a $100 award. Thanks to the entire team of  hort therapy volunteers and special thanks to Hedy Westra, Jeanne Menger and Katie Harbage who put together the nomination.   
-Our friend, Green Circle Growers, was awarded one of five Friend of Master Gardeners Awards.  Thanks to Kim Hawkins and Cookie Krismanich, who work with Green Circle Growers to help with our Plants In the Park and for putting together the nomination.  We hope to honor Green Circle at next year’s annual meeting. 
- In addition, MGCC won Platinum Standards for Excellence Award, again!  A clean sweep!

Ben Franklin Herb Garden Recognition
2017 was a most special one for our MGVs who take such devoted care of the Ben Franklin Demonstration Herb Garden. Rita Robinson, Carol Norton, Rita Vautner, and Ellen Thibo completed their goal of making the garden more special than it has ever been--all the plants in the garden are native herbs! The Herb Society of America recognized the garden with a "Green Bridges" Certificate for promoting biodiversity through the use of native herbs and environmentally-friendly gardening practices. The National Wildlife Federation certified the garden as "Wildlife Habitat" because of the owner's conscientious planning, landscaping and sustainable gardening, so that wildlife will find quality habitat here--food, water, cover, and places to raise their young.

Strategic Plannining

The Advisory Committee has approved strategic planning which discussed and prioritized key areas of focus and address three primary strategic initiatives: Optimize Volunteers and the Volunteer Experience, Enhance Educational Programming, and Strengthen Organizational Structure. The planning process produced a clearer definition of where the organization desires to go in the next three years and what MGCC expects of itself. Task forces will be created to implement the plan, reviewing current practices, developing methods for achieving the desired ends, and implementing them. The following information provides details:
    Strategic Initiatives: (These documents are in the Archives, which requires ID and password. Check with the MGV Program Coordinator if you have forgotten them.)
        Initiative I -
Optimize Volunteers and the Volunteer Experience
        Initiative II -
Enhance Educational Programming
        Initiative III -
Strengthen Organizational Structure
    Gantt Chart -
showing timing of plan steps
    Glossary and committee members listing

MGV Management System
The Master Gardener Volunteer Management System is now operational for the
reporting of volunteer hours and continuing education hours by each Master Gardener directly into an online internet reporting system. Time logs for recording information between submissions are posted below. New project listings (Click here for Project Listings) must be used to record volunteer hours in order to coordinate with new state-wide tracking categories. If time is not reported, the hours will not be counted toward annual requirements. Provisions have been made for Master Gardeners without internet access.
Continuing Education Reporting - Continuing education hours earned at Master Gardener-approved events must be included on time logs and entered into the online reporting system. Continuing education credit may also be obtained by other means, but a form (see below) must be submitted in addtion to the online reporting. Forms are provided for use in obtaining credit by other means: 1) reading a book and writing a book review, 2) visiting a garden and writing about what was seen and learned, and 3) attending a non-Master Gardener program and writing about it. The form itself need not be completely filled out if the information requested in the form is included on a report provided as an attachment to the form. Completed forms may be emailed to:.
Go to the Forms page for Instructions and an online tutorial for using the MGV Management System, Time Logs, project categories, and non-MG Continuing Education reporting forms.

■ Guidelines for Community Gardening Volunteer Hours

There has been a lot of confusion about Master Gardener involvement in community gardening. While the MG Program wants to support community gardening, guidelines have been established for when it is an approved Master Gardener activity and when it is an extension of personal horticultural interest. See Guidelines for Community Gardening Volunteer Hours.

Special Volunteer Opportunities
Check out the Volunteer Center for these and other volunteering opportunities:

Telephone Hotline Needs You!

Starting in April, on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10:00 to 1:00 PM, volunteers are needed in the OSU Extension office on Fairhill to answer gardening questions from the public.

Each week from April through October, we will be receiving calls covering a range of issues, from tomato blight to cats in the garden. We might get ten or twenty questions per slot depending on the season and our advertising success.

* Please sign up to cover a few slots over the next few months.
* Interns are required to serve at least once, and they will need to be supervised.
* Those of you with prior experience at any hotline venue are particularly sought after for supervising. A more experienced volunteer should always be there to help with challenging questions.
* FIFTY SIX is the magic number...that is how many slots we need to fill. Consider a regular slot, like second Thursday or first Saturday..and commit to it for the season.
* Sign up on the Volunteer Management System - the VMS, beginning 3/20/2020.

If you have questions please contact Lois Rose, Telephone Hotline Chair. Email is Phone: 216-321-6766 or cell 216-401-7614.

Community Gardening Mentors Wanted
Enlisting Now!

The Community Gardening Committee is seeking new volunteers to mentor gardens for the coming season. Training will begin this month and will equip you with knowledge and skills to help a new garden get growing! Volunteer hours are flexible, so this is a good volunteer position if you have a job or family constraints.

The training will include basic vegetable gardening skills, pest and disease management, and advice on how to be a garden mentor. Attendance is not mandatory, but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for new mentors. Two hours of continuing education credits will be given.

Please contact me to learn more. Even if you’re just curious, please come to one of the training sessions. (You only need to attend one.)
Note: Note: registration links below are different for 2/2 and 2/26
Saturday, February 2nd, 10:00 – 12:00, OSU Extension Office, 12200 Fairhill Road, E Building, Cleveland -
Wednesday, February 26th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Maple Heights Library, 5225 Library Lane, Maple Heights- Register: -
On Saturday, March 16th, 10:00 - noon, there will be a Meet and Greet, where mentors and garden leaders come together. Parma Branch Library, 6996 Powers Boulevard, Parma.

Marianne Sachs
Community Gardening Committee

■ Ben Franklin School Demonstration Gardeners Needed
The Ben Franklin Perennial, Herb and Vegetable Demonstration Gardens were created so that the visiting public could learn from the gardens and the volunteers who care for them. These gardens are always in need of many hands to give the proper care to the plants and to manage the weeding and watering. Please join other Master Gardener Volunteers on Monday nights from 6:45pm to 8:45pm and Saturdays from 8:30am-10:30am. This is in addition to the usual hours of 8:30am-12:00pm on Thursdays.

Share the Health Garden Volunteers Needed
We have an urgent need for volunteers at the Share the Health Garden. If you haven’t been out to see it, you will be amazed. It is a very large garden with an electrified deer fence, irrigation system, and lots of vegetables. Vegetable plants are growing strong and so are the weeds!
We meet on Monday mornings at 9 AM. The more hands, the faster the work gets done - but we usually work for about 2 hours. You will learn a lot about vegetable gardening. The garden is located at the Gates Mills Environmental Education Center, 390 County Line Road, Gates Mills.
Please come or email Laura at if you have questions. We can use your help and you can get some good volunteer hours in a beautiful country setting.

Willott Iris Garden Needs Volunteers
Volunteers are always needed at the Willott Iris Garden at the Greenhouse. From 9:30 AM until 12:30 PM every Wednesday and Saturday are good times to go. This time of year is always busy with weeding and dividing. You will learn so much! Contact Hank Doll.

Ben Franklin School Children's Garden - Thursday mornings, 9:00 - 11.30 - The Ben Franklin School Children's Garden needs volunteers. Earn hours. Come to 1905 Spring Rd., Cleveland, about 5 blocks west of Rt. 176 (Jennings Freeway) or 2 blocks east of Broadview (map).

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Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County, Inc. (MGCC) controls and is solely responsibie for this web site and its contents. MGCC is an Ohio not-for-profit Ohio corporation organized as a I.R.C. 501(c)(3) educational charitable entity, the members of which are Master Gardener Volunteers in the Master Gardener Program of The Ohio State University Extension.

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