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Master Gardener Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

Extension Center Room February 13, 2015

Master Gardener Steering Committee was called to order at 9 am by President Mary Carey. An addition to the agenda was the Financial Report, with unanimous approval. Minutes from the January MG Steering Committee were approved with no changes or additions.

       Treasurer Joe Walker presented the current financial report, showing a current balance of (see MG treasurer for amount). Joe has provided the Steering Committee with a number of financial spreadsheets. He highlighted the expense/income spreadsheet for the year 2014 vs 2015 projections. Discussion continued regarding budget timing, specifically peak revenue generation (plant sale) vs expenditure needs: greenhouse and demo gardens being the primary requirements. Steering Committee bylaws state that the demonstration garden budget should be submitted by January. Suggestion was made to approve a preliminary budget covering the time period from January to immediately following the April plant sale. After revenues from the plant sale are realized, budget would be adjusted and implemented. Motion was made and passed to designate an ad hoc committee to review the bylaws referencing financials, budget, timing of revenue vs expense, etc. The recommendations of the committee will be presented to the Steering Committee at the March meeting. The ad hoc committee will exist until disbanded.

       Demo gardens: Mary Medina reviewed the preliminary budget for the demo gardens. Demo garden leads will meet on February 21, and present their preliminary budget requests at that time. The Demo Garden Lead will submit the budget request for the demo gardens at the March Steering Committee meeting. Maintenance Lead expenditures will be taken from the demo garden budget, and although there are timelines on the spreadsheet submitted by the Maintenance Lead, he will wait for budget approval prior to work beginning.

     Greenhouse: 400 plugs have been received (prematurely). They were not to arrive until March. They will be transplanted on or after 2/21/15. There was a heater issue in the greenhouse that has been corrected. Temperatures will be monitored, especially through the next week (for which extremely cold temperatures are forecasted).2 Plant sale: organizational meeting will be held in March. Budget for the plant sale was reviewed. See notes for the Greenhouse (400 plugs are plants being prepared for the plant sale).

    100th Year Celebration - Nothing new to report. The committee meeting was cancelled for this month.

    Dig In – 29 people have registered. Tuesday evening (2/24, 6 pm) 3 of the Dig-In presenters will do a practice presentation at the Extension Center. Everyone is invited. Ways to increase registration and attendance were discussed.

    Advertising and Marketing: General outreach was discussed at length, including short garden classes at big box stores, farmers’ garden on Saturdays, talks at nurseries (Frisellas, Theis, etc). We could use this to advertise Master Gardeners organization, Level I classes, etc.

    Lawn chair class dates are May 19, June 16 and September 15.

    O’Fallon Garden Expo Event: We did this last year. If we want to sell items, there is a charge.

    Scott Killpack: Master Gardener class enrollment is 8 at this point for the classes to start in March.

    Discussions revolved around ways to reach other demographics to communicate the depth of knowledge and experience that exists with the Master Gardener organization and the St. Charles Extension Center (Twitter being one of the tools mentioned).

     Eagle Scout Project: An Eagle Scout from Valley Park will do one additional table and two benches similar the ones existing currently under the pergola. They continue to be a resource, so we would like to have additional projects ready for them to complete. Mary Medina and Scott Killpack will explore other potential projects.

     Visit to TREE House: this is a therapeutic equine organization. They have requested our assistance with a swale on their property which needs work. Mary Carey will take this for action.

      MG Speaker topics – Mary Medina has some ideas on how to handle these in the future. Mary Carey has five requests currently on the list.

      Public Classes, who & what, Dig Out: Format and content of “lawn chair” classes was presented by Mary Medina. Mary M. suggests offering free classes, in light of the competition from the nurseries (who are also offering classes free of charge). We will continue discussion at the meeting in March.

     Mary Medina suggested doing a fall plant sale, and maybe in conjunction have the “Dig-Out” (fall classes).

    February General Meeting agenda: awards, financials, Dig-In classes, plant sale, greenhouse, speakers, cookbook, 100th anniversary.

    Scott Killpack suggested adding Master Gardener Level 3 One training.

       It was suggested that Waneta Parmenter address volunteer hours and requirements.

      At 10:30 am motion was made and approved to adjourn the meeting.

     Viewing the Propagation Chamber: Evelyn Franks briefed all Steering Committee members on operations in the greenhouse, especially propagation chamber, heating, cooling, ventilation, thermostat; watering, (degassing, pH adjustments), fertilizing. 

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