What went on at the Planning Retreat

In case you weren’t able to attend, we had a great time at the Retreat. Ideas were flying fast and furious, and the enthusiasm was positively contagious! Here’s a quick breakdown:

The new MG Foundation Bylaws revisions were accepted.

New Foundation board members— President (Alice S.), Vice President (Jo B.) , and Secretary (Vickie W.) —were elected, effective Jan. 1, 2019. One of the most important things Alice and Jo will be doing is encouraging newer MGs to find their niches and develop their potentials as leaders. It’s time for the new folks to move us on to greater things, and we fully expect to have members of the 2018 class to be our leaders in 2020. We have so much great talent there!

We are looking at the possibility (after our office moves to its new location next year) of the commissioners allowing the MGs to do some renovation to convert Cougar Cottage into a MG meeting place with a working kitchen. So many possibilities!

Helen Redmond has accepted the appointed Foundation Board position of Fundrasing Program Director. This is fantastic and we’re all really looking forward to working with her!

Another 2018 graduate is seriously considering becoming the Education Program director, and we’re really hoping the offer will be accepted!

Here are some of the ideas offered at the retreat:

  • Gary F. would like to see us do some research that we can share with other MGs around the state. He would like to see MGs have a greater presence at the 2019 training class (21 people registered for the orientations!) as a way of mentoring the new folks and making them feel welcome and a part of the organization from the get-go.

  • Alice S. suggested that we set up a research project that compares how the same type of plants will grow in 3 different environments: Straw bale beds (great instructional article by WSU MGs) hugelkultur bed, and the Cougar Cottage garden. Also suggested that we might be able to start a community garden in the northeast end of the fairgrounds (just across the street from the Extension) and rent beds to neighbors and mentor then.

  • Gary H. suggested that fun outings and trips—such as taking a train to the H&G show in Seattle—to build fellowship and bonding between MGs

  • Carla C. would like to see a team of MGs assist at the Lilac Gardens in Woodland—excellent opportunity for helping, offering MG advice, and having meetings and potlucks.

  • Helen R. thinks we may be able to get some community and financial support from the Cowlitz tribe at Ilani.

  • Joe L. would like to have Continuing Ed. opportunities for MGs—collaborative discussions between MGs about their gardening techniques. It’s his hope that this will help us to put what we learned in our MG training into practice by being able to confidently answer questions from our friends, neighbors, and the public.

  • Roxanne would like to see all of our year’s events posted on the website so the public could see at a glance what we’ll be offering and can plan for it.

  • Kathy S. suggests that we incorporate a regularly scheduled potluck meeting of all foundation members (not just the Board) to discuss what’s going on, then have a continuing education opportunity so we can log our required CE hours.

  • Jerry and Carolyn W. would like to foster events to help people help themselves with health and diet. How to preserve and cook the foods we grow was one area.

  • Trisha B. would like to see more continuing education to expand on what we learned in MG training. We just touched the surface during our packed training classes, and would like the opportunity to learn more about it so we can be more knowledgeable and be able to help people more.

  • Mary Williams would love to see us get involved in garden mentoring in assisted living facilities

  • Jo B. thinks in might be interesting to have “MG book clubs” where we all read the same article, book, video, then meet to discuss it. She also brought up the discussion of “comandeering” Cougar Cottage for use by the MGs after we move the Extension office to its new location. Possibly offer Farm-to-table events there.

  • Patricia B. likes the idea of research projects and would like to help draw up the project parameters so they would be scientifically relevant.