President, Carol Shirk welcomed everyone to the first 2016 Master Gardener Meeting. In addition to the many attendees, Mike Maddox, Master Gardener Program Director and Jeff Hoffman of the UW-Extension were present.
Members were given a few reminders regarding dues, photo releases, accurately completing time sheets, completing and returning the Volunteer Behavior Expectations Form, and the new project approval form. Terry Zimmerlee and Carol Shirk will be stepping down from the Executive Board as their terms have been completed. Two new members will be voted on at the April meeting. Members were also reminded of the upcoming Level 2 Training on Landscape Design.
The focus of the meeting was a presentation of the many projects undertaken in 2015. During the year members worked with youth teaching them about a plant’s life cycle, composting, designing and creating a raised bed, vegetable gardens, pollinator gardens and insects. Members gave educational classes on container gardening, taught gardening to mentally and physically challenged individuals, assisted with planting vegetables at a Senior Housing project, and growing vegetables used in meal preparation by a dietician. Our association had booths at many community events including the Dodge County Fair, Senior Expos, Old Time Gathering, and Earth Day where a variety of topics were covered. Members also worked on containers for local communities, took care of flower beds at the Seippel Homestead, and the educational gardens at the Administration Building and Highway Department. Volunteers cleaned up and weeded at the Dodge County Historical Society, planted at the Rainbow Hospice Care Inpatient Center, and worked on a garden for the Dodge County Food Pantry. Master Gardeners also write articles for several local newspapers on a variety of topics.
The presentation also included the annual plant sale, Gardening for Gold symposium, the annual bus trip that went to Green Bay Botanical Gardens and the Ask a Master Gardener Help Line. All of which were very successful in 2015.
There are new projects in the works for 2016.