by Michele Worden, AEMG, MGANM President
I am writing this letter to you during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. The snow is falling heavily outside my window and it will be a white Christmas.
It is an opportune time to look back over the past year at the challenges we faced and the accomplishments we achieved. It is also an ideal vantage point to look forward to things to come in 2021.
In 2020, we started the year in-person, and we had some interesting and informative programs on herbs and plant diagnostics. When the pandemic struck, we moved our events to Zoom and continued our Schedule. (A review of 2020 can be found in the event video for the November 8th Volunteer Recognition Event (see meeting minutes article and video) We found that online, our attendance at events actually increased. I believe that is because, like our tagline, we actually are “Connecting gardeners through Learning”. During the pandemic, it is even more important to connect Master Gardeners with each other.
Furthering both the Association’s mission of both sharing MSUE scientifically based horticultural knowledge, AS WELL AS connecting Master Gardeners together through learning, we have a quality line-up of speakers for 2021. We do need your help to make it happen though.
As the Association’s portfolio of responsibilities has grown over the years, we find that we need additional help outside of the board. For example, we need members to step forward and join our programming committee. Please get in touch with me.
Many thanks to Molly Bacon who is our new Real Dirt Editor! She is shepherding an enthusiastic group of talented gardeners, cum writers, to produce this e-Newsletter that features local content.
Another activity I am excited about is our new Master Gardener Book Club. What a great way to connect through the winter months and during the pandemic! I am excited to start reading the first book, Uprooted: A Gardener Reflects on Beginning Again by Page Dickey, over break. You can join by logging into the membership portal (Wild Apricot) from our website, going to your profile settings, and selecting the Committee “Garden Book Club”. This will allow you to get emails about the book club.
Fun fact – if you want to connect to your fellow MGANM members, you can find a directory of members in the portal. You can even download the Wild apricot membership app to your phone and have the events and directory at your fingertips. What could be more convenient?
We have projects that the Association would like to pursue in 2021 and we need volunteers to make them happen. For example, we would like to do an update of our website content and a committee to review the website and propose updates would be most welcome. Remember, volunteering for the Association qualifies for Volunteer Hours.
As we close upon 2020, I look back and feel very grateful for all of you, and what you contribute to the community. Your spirit of giving back through service, sharing your knowledge, and contributing through horticulture makes the world a better place. Thank you.
I look forward to serving with you in 2021, on Zoom, in the garden, fields, and streams of Northwest lower Michigan.
Carpe Diem! And Happy New Year