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EMG Volunteers Board Meeting Minutes September 5, 2023

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NC State Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers of Transylvania County

EMG Volunteers Advisory Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

September 5, 2023, at 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Welcome and Call to Order:  Betsy called the meeting to order at 12:01 p.m.

Attendees Title
Betsy Bond Co-President X
Mary Miller Co-President, Ed. Program Liaison, Compost Co Leader
Joy Evans Treasurer X
Brenda Doroski Secretary X
Maryann Mickewicz TransPlanter, Ed. Program Committee X
Bart Renner Extension Agent X
Lani Leary Past Co-President X
Cindy Gilbert Past Co-President X
Martha Mayberry Ancillary Support X
Nancy Carroll Gardens of Silvermont Liaison X
Cindy Decker Editor, Compost Co Leader X
Jane Robertson Hospitality Chair X
Lynn Bartosh Volunteer Coordinator X

August Minutes:  Approved revised minutes (Martha moved; Lani seconded).

Reviewed and Accepted Finance Report:

  • Joy reported an August balance of $7629.81. Last month, $78.00 was spent on wildflower seeds for the August program and mulch needed to keep the weeds down in the library rain garden. The county has not been responsive in providing free mulch so triple ground hardwood mulch was purchased (from Cason Building Supply).

Old Business

Demonstration Gardens:

  • Silvermont: Linn Branson has indicated to Cindy G. that he is ready to be “replaced.”  The vegetable garden co-lead is a big job and 1-2 volunteers need to be identified for next year.
  • Allison-Deaver House Garden: Cindy G. reported that the walnut trees have grown and the deer pressure is worse this year. The nearby vegetable garden may be attracting the deer. Betsy and Cindy G. are considering options for addressing this issue (e.g., moving the beds, fencing, etc.). They are also trying to kill the poison ivy in the bed by the parking lot. The peonies were fed in the spring but none of them bloomed. Will continue to try to revive them.
  • Ranger Station Garden: Some MG attended the 2023 Pisgah Ranger Station Gardens Tour on August 7, but not many members of the public attended. They will advertise more next year. The management at the Station changed in December and he/she is more enthusiastic about collaboration with EMGV. Mary will explore putting more information on the board/kiosk and developing a long-term plan to expand planting on the septic field in front of the center. It would signal “something going on here.”

Farmer’s Market EMGV Booth:

  • Bart reported that the farmers market is going very well. Steve M. has proposed creating a “question of the week” for the Facebook page from the questions captured at the market booth.

 Upcoming Opportunities for EMG Volunteers:

  • Bart still needs 3 more volunteers for Monarch Day at Gorges State Park on September 23, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Bart has volunteers for the State Fair horticultural judging on Thursday, September 6 (new date).

New Class Participation

  • In general, participation in the gardens has increased. For example, Cindy D. reported 50% of the composting sessions have been moderately successful.

New Business          

Sept 12 Program Eventbrite Sign-Ups

  • Maryann reported that 31 people have signed up so far (50 spots available).

 Update on Collecting Pots for Rosman High School:

  • Brenda emailed the teacher but has not received a response. She will send a second email requesting a response by next week. [Teacher responded and project a go.]

 Review Enchanted Garden Proposal:

  • The group discussed proposal to pull out 4 old MG beds behind Silvermont and create a new garden with an art feature (see separate attachment). While a good idea, there were questions regarding long term volunteer commitment and maintenance, the potential need for a county public art permit, and buy-in from the neighbor and the county. Maryann will follow-up with Willow. [The project has since been cancelled due to objection from neighbor.]

Recruitment Ideas for 2024 Board:

  • There are four elected board positions – 2 co-presidents, secretary and treasurer. The other positions are appointed by the co-presidents. The current slate to put forward for election in November include:
    • Mary Miller for co-president #1
    • Betsy Bond for co-president #2
    • Brenda to continue as secretary
    • Phyllis Cummings as treasurer

 EMG Volunteers Tea Social on September 14

  • 12 people have signed up so far (24 spots available).

 EMG Volunteers Holiday/Graduation Party – Date and Logistics

  • Discussed and agreed that the event will be held at St. Phillip’s on Tuesday, December 12 at 5:30-7:30 p.m. Maryann will make the arrangements/reservation.

 New Class Garden Party

  • The new class is organizing a progressive garden party on September 30 and seeking 3 gardens to visit. FYI only; no action for Board.

Soil School

  • Nancy Carroll, Jane Robertson and Louise Stroup will meet with Sarah Holden, 4-H Coordinator, to offer support and encouragement to continue the 3rd grade soil school program at Brevard Elementary School.

Education Program Committee

  • Maryann shared that the Education Program Committee reconvened to schedule next year’s programs. They will use EMG Volunteers as speakers as much as possible.
  • The group discussed and agreed to eliminate refreshments at meetings since there is often a lot left over and there is limited space for a refreshment table in the Extension Service conference room. Refreshments will still be provided at the Symposium.
  • The Symposium will be held on March 16, 2024 with the Shady Ladies as the speakers.
  • We discussed the pros and cons of available venues. The library is optimal with lots of parking, a large meeting space and a kitchen. However, only books can be sold at the library and there is a desire to sell plants. Perhaps the plant sale could be set up in South Broad Park or the Extension Service. The Mary C. Jenkins Community Center has limited parking and a maximum of 125 chairs. Other ideas floated include St. Phillip’s and Brevard High School Auditorium with could provide an opportunity to collaborate with the horticulture program.

Facebook Posts

  • Holly V., Kim Gundler and Steve M. are putting together a calendar of FB posts starting in October.

Schedule for the Remainder of the Year:


Board Meetings (1st Tues, noon) Monthly Program and Events
September 5 September 12
October 3 October 10
November 7 November 14
December – no meeting Graduation/Awards Dinner – TBD

The meeting adjourned 1:20 p.m. Minutes submitted by Brenda Doroski, Secretary.