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Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County honors its volunteers for their service to horticultural education through the Master Gardener Volunteer Program:
 Milestone Earners - Honoring Master Gardener Volunteers for their lifetime efforts - click for listing
  In Memorium - Honoring deceased Master Gardener Volunteers for their contributions - click for listing
  State Awards
- Cuyahoga County MGV's and projects honored at the state level - click for listing

This page consists of the following three sections:
(Click on section to jump to it.)
News, Immediate Needs and Special Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Coordinator
Programs, Events and Committees

News, Immediate Needs and Special Volunteer Opportunites

Important Information: 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.

Immediate Needs and Special Volunteer Opportunities

2021 Plants in the Park

See Call for Volunteers flyer - click here

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 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 PiP.  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 Friday to have MG Volunteers outside to check plants in and MG Volunteers inside to arrange and price them. 
  • Saturday is the sale day. Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  
  • Volunteer slots will again be in shifts. 
  • 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.

During the initial planning stages of PiP 2021, we informed you that we planned to register buyers via Constant Contact in order to adequately control the number of people in the Pavilion. Pre-registration for buyers is no longer necessary.  Volunteers must register in advance.  However, buyers are free to come at any time during the 9 AM -  2 PM window.  We will be social distancing, so there may be a waiting period at the door.  For this reason, we ask you to remind your friends and family that new plants will be replenished all day long, so later buyers will still have great choices.  

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!


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!
For 2020, we’ve added two new programs. In one, we train garden leaders to be better communicators, and in the other we provide email and telephone access to answer garden questions. We also hold continuing education programs and invite all community gardeners. The committee works closely with the OSU-Extension’s Urban Agriculture Program, which this year plans weekly garden visits to broaden its connection to the community.

If you’d like to work toward creating beauty, reducing food insecurity, and meeting hopeful and charismatic people, please join us this spring. We provide training and will match you with a garden based on your geography and interest.

Our training schedule is below. I’d love to hear from you.

Marianne Sachs, Chair, Community Gardening Committee

* Mentor training (2 continuing education credits)
Saturday, March 14, 10:00-11:30, extension office conference room. This class is required for new mentors; please register with me.

* Vegetable Gardening 101 (2 continuing education units)
Saturday, April 18, 10:00-11:30, South Euclid Library, 1876 South Green Road. This popular class is free and open to the public. Constant Contact registration will come soon.

■ 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.

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.

Master Gardener Volunteer Program Coordinator
Tammy Currier is Program Coordinator for the Cuyahoga County Master Gardener Program. She is the contact person for those who have questions or need help regarding the MG program. She works with committees, recruits MGs to assist committees and programs, provides support services for events and projects, assists in Basic Training, and mentors and works to involve new interns as well as longer-term MGs. She is at the OSU Extension Office on most Wednesdays, telephone number: 330-599-7734. She may be e-mailed at:

Programs, Events and Committees
The following volunter programs, events and committees list Master Gardeners to contact for additional information and volunteering, and provide a brief description of volunteer activities: Click here for a
printable multipage reference list of MG program, event and committee contacts.
(Click on a program below to jump to it.)

Basic Training
Basic Training Mentors
Ben Franklin School Horticultural Program
Ben Franklin Demonstration Gardens
Breakfast Gardening Series
Cleveland Botanical Garden: Ask the Gardener - see HotLine on the Road

    Advisory Committee
Children's Committee, see Youth Committee
    Community Gardening Committee
    Continuing Education Committee
    Grants Committee
    Library Committee
    Publicity Committee
    Resource Center
    Social Committee
    Strategic Planning Committee
    Youth Committee

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) Encore Program
Cuyahoga County OSU Extension Advisory Committee
Email Diagnosticians - eXtension "Ask a Master Gardener"
Fall Seminar
Graduation Event
HotLine (Telephone) Diagnosticians
HotLine on the Road
    Cleveland Botanical Garden: "Ask the Gardener"
    Farmers' Markets
    Garden Shows & Fairs

Ohio State Master Gardener Advisory Committe
Plants in the Park: A Garden Day
Share the Health (Plant A Row) Garden
Speakers Bureau
Spring Seminar: From Garden to Table
Theraputic Horticulture
Trumpet Vine
Web Site
Willott Garden

Basic Training
Outreach and training for the new Master Gardener class. Organize and implement information nights, brochures and interviews, and assist with class activities. Classes are usually from February until April. Contact Cathy Barr.

Basic Training Mentors
Find and assign current MGs to mentor Basic Training class members. Contact Cathy Barr.

Ben Franklin School Horticulture Program
Volunteers are welcome for this all-year program, 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., at the Ben Franklin School (map), including indoor classroom sessions with all fourth graders and outdoor sessions working with students, as well as summer maintence of the garden. For further information or to volunteer, contact Betsy Korhnak.

Ben Franklin Demonstration Gardens
The Benjamin Franklin School Demonstration Gardens (map) are always in need of volunteers for seasonal work preparing and maintaining the gardens. Plan and maintain the gardens and present public demonstrations. Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. - noon, throughout the growing season, behind Ben Franklin School. For information or to volunteer for specific gardens, please contact:
■ Herb Garden: Chair: Rita Robinson
■ Perennial Garden: Co-chairs: Kim Hawkins, Jan Larsen, Hedy Westra
■ Vegetable Garden: Co-chairs: Dave Kuebler and Jo Ann Pallant

Breakfast Gardening Series
Plans and implements all aspects of this series of short educational programs, including budgeting, facilities, and speakers. The series is open to the public and held in the early part of the year. Contact Mary O'Rourke and Sally Wiess .

■ Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee in involved in overseeing the Master Gardener Program and advises and assists the OSU Extension Horticultural Agent as appropriate. Members serve three-year termsl and meet at least quarterly. Meetings are open to all Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County. Its Guidelines provide more complete details. Also see, List of Committee members and officers. See Archives for current Committee and officer roster. Contact Chair Jo deHaseth, or Vice Chair Cathy DeJohn.

■ Community Gardening Committee
Volunteer with OSU Extension's Community Gardening Program. We are a diverse group of people and garden groups who provide education and assistance to community gardens and participate in gardens across Cuyahoga County. See Guidelines for Community Gardening Volunteer Hours. Contact Barb Franzen, Christine Harris or Marianne Sachs.

■ Continuing Education Committee
Develops and presents continuing education programs for Master Gardeners' continuing education requirements. Meets in fall to plan following year. Contact Barb Franzen.

■ Grants Committee
Solicits and evaluates proposals requesting community gardening grants for horticultural community projects with an educational component, and awards grants. Presently inactive.

■ Library Committee
Develops MG-sponsored educational displays annually for presentation at libraries in Cuyahoga County. Responsible for planning, scheduling, set-up and take-down. Contact Rosie Daniels and Donna Schneider. The 2018 topic is "tba."

■ Publicity Committee
To develop and distribute press releases and to otherwise publicity the Master Gardener Program and its programs. Contact Pat Smith.

■ Resource Center
Sponsors the Speakers Bureau and Web Site, oversees preparation of Speakers Bureau programs, and reviews needs, procures and maintains resources for the Master Gardener Program, including books, web site, and computer, projector and portable public address system. Contact Kris Brown.

■ Social Committee
Coordinates and implements Master Gardener social events such as plant exchanges, the Halloween Party and tours. Contact: Bob Heidelman or Katherine Geralds.

■ Strategic Planning Committee
Contact Hedy Westra, Connie Rebich, Ellen Comeau

■ Youth Committee

Develops and prepares programs and activities, primarily for children, at shows, fairs and events, such as Zoo Blooms and Outdoor Odyssey. Contact - to be organized.

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) Encore Program

Volunteers are needed to give presentations at individual (or more) sessions of the Tri-C Encore Program. For further information or to propose topics and volunteer to be a presentor, contact Eastern Campus program coordinator Marge Cambareri, Western Campus program coordinator Marge Cambareri.

Cuyahoga County OSU Extension Advisory Committee
The Master Gardener representative to this group keeps representatives from various Cuyahoga County Non-Profits aware of the things we do as MG volunteers in the OSU Extension office.

Email Diagnosticians - eXtension "Ask a Master Gardener"
Master Gardener Diagnosticians answer horticultural questions submitted through the state-wide eXtension "Ask a Master Gardener" program. Contact Carolyn Hufford.

Fall Seminar: Gardening Through the Seasons
The annual one-day Fall Seminar on horticultural topics of interest to gardeners, homeowners and Master Gardeners will be held usually on the first Saturday in November. Volunteers plan and implement all aspects of the Seminar, including budgeting, facilities and speakers. Contact Sandy Welches, Donna Schneider and Jennifer Young.

Graduation Event
Plans and implements all aspects of the annual event which recognizes the new class of Master Gardeners, with actions including presentations, budgeting, donations and facilities. Contact .

HotLine - Telephone Diagnosticians

Volunteers are needed to staff the telephone Horticulture Hotline on Thursday and Saturday mornings., April through October at the OSU Extension Office from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. to answer gardening questions from the public. For further information and to volunteer, contact co-chairs: Lois Rose and Kip Schmidt. Click here for HotLine Procedures.

HotLine on the Road
Horticultural information is presented at various garden shows and farmers' markets.

Cleveland Botanical Garden - "Ask the Gardener"
Vonteers answer gardeners' questions at the Cleveland Botanical Garden on designated Saturdays. (map) Click here for instructions. Contact Sandy Welches.

Farmers' Markets
Volunteers are needed to staff a Master Gardener booth, answering questions and sometimes making
presentations. For questions and to volunteer for specific farmers' markets, please contact:
Crocker Park (link & map) - May through September, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Contact Kris Brown
Shaker Square (link & map) - May through September, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon. Contact Ellen Comeau. Click here for Instructions.

Garden Shows and Fairs
Planning and implementing Master Gardener participation in a number of shows and fairs annually. Responsibilities include organizing, setup, staffing and teardown. Shows include:
Adult Events:
Cleveland Botanical Garden Show (map) - next show: postponed - Volunteers staff the Master Gardener booth and answer questions by the public. Contact Sandy Welches.
Cuyahoga County Fair - Contact Gail Holzman.
Children's Events: tbd
The Great Big Home & Garden Show
- Contact Vickie Follen or Pat Koch.

Ohio State MG Advisory Committee

The state Advisory Committee is composed of county educators, Master Gardeners and representatives from the OSU Extension Master Gardener program in Columbus. Meets quarterly, and each representative represents a number of counties. of the Cuyahoga County MG program is presently a member. No Cuyahoga MG is presently a member.

Plants in the Park: A Garden Day
The Plants in the Park: A Garden Day plant sale is held annually. Master Gardeners and others contribute a wide variety of plants for this fundraiser plant sale. Contact Lois Rose, Carol Anne Cohen and Kim Hawkins.

Share the Health Garden
The Share the Health Garden at the Gates Mills Environmental Education Center, 390 County Line Road in Gates Mills (map) is seeking participation by Master Gardeners who want to grow vegetables, as well as educate youths about gardening. There is no set time requirement for volunteering. For further information or to volunteer, contact Laura Elersich.

Speakers Bureau
Volunteers are needed to present programs, as well as to prepare new programs for presentation. Part of the Resource Committee. For a description of the present offerings, see Speakers Bureau. To volunteer to present programs or to suggest new programs for development, contact Pat Koch.

Spring Seminar: From Garden to Table
Plan and implement all aspects of the annual Spring Seminar, including budgeting, facilities, and speakers. Contact Shoshana Wodzisz. 

Theraputic Horticulture
Volunteers are always needed for the on-going horticultural therapy program. Assist a Horticultural Therapist with programs for patients in nursing homes and rehabilitation centers in Cuyahoga County, and work directly with patients on a regular basis.

Program (with link) Program takes place:
Cleveland Clinic Children's Rehabilitation Hospital Wednesday mornings, two times each month - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Contact Hedy Westra.
Eliza Jennings, The Renaissance Contact Marjorie Ruhl, Bill Safos
Judson Park On a Thursday monthly at 2:00 p.m. (map) Contact Jeanne Menger.
McGregor PACE Contact Katie Harbage.
Menorah Park Contact Jeanne Menger
Metro General Contact Amy Sharper
Montefiore House - Mayfield Contact Katie Harbage.

Trumpet Vine

Bi-monthly Trumpet Vine offers MGs a variety of horticulture information timed for the season and publicizes events and news about the MG program and members. Contact Sandy Welches, Editor; Pat Koch, Graphic Design Editor; Sandy Jones, Copy Editor.

Web Site
The web site,, is maintained to provide the public an overview of the Master Gardener Program and its educational programs and events available to the public, and to provide Master Gardeners with timely information and news pertaining to the MG Program and advanced training, volunteering and social opportunities and events. Please send Webmaster Greg Cada notices of programs and events for posting on the applicable calendars, descriptions of programs, and digital pictures of programs and from events. Co-Chairs: Greg Cada and Shoshana Wodzisz.

Willott Iris Garden
The Willott Iris Garden at the City's Rockefeller Park Greenhouse was created in commemoration of Master Gardeners Anthony (Tony) Willott and his wife Dorothy Willott, both of whom became nationally renowned for the hybridizing of irises. They maintained an iris garden for years at the City Greenhouse. Following Tony's death in 2008, a consortium of Cleveland horticultural organizations, also including The Ohio State University Extension, the Cleveland Iris Society, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Garden Club (Gardeners of America Cleveland Chapter), and the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse and its Friends, agreed to establish an commemorative iris garden on part of the site of the previous Willott Iris Garden plot. Contact Bob Pindell of the North East Ohio Iris Society at


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