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State Master Gardener Volunteer Advisory Committee

Meeting Minutes – March 9, 2009

Clark State Community College

Pam called the Meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Welcome & Introductions: In attendance were Sue Donahue, Celeste Welty, Faye Mahaffey, Denise Ellsworth, Mary O’Rourke, Carol Edmister, Dan Poast, Carolyn Allen, Tim Malinich, Pam Bennett, Julie Crook, Candace Pollock, Susan Liechty, Donna Foss, Bob Hostler, John Haley, Greg Meyer, and Cindy Burskey

Your Chance to be a Part of Gardening History – Hamilton County Extension is the National Leader in CIP’s.  By Dave Dyke

Perhaps your first question is … what in the heck is a CIP?  The short answer is that it a contour infiltration planting, a term coined by Dave Dyke in conjunction with his work with the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD) to describe a landscape planting constructed on the contour to capture and infiltrate storm water.  Many are familiar with contour plantings used in traditional agriculture for millennia.  However, there are significant differences between most agricultural contour plantings and CIP’s:  Contour planting allows agricultural producers to grow row crops with minimal soil erosion on slopes, with storm water capture and infiltration as a secondary benefit/goal; while CIP’s provides a method for landscapers to easily capture and infiltrate water on a slope to minimize storm water runoff and beautify the landscape. 

Unfortunately, there is little or no information on urban contour plantings for storm water management except for some related to capturing water for landscape plantings in arid regions of the U. S. Southwest.  Therefore, OSU Extension Hamilton County has formed a collaborative with several other entities, including:  Project Evergreen [], whose mission is “to preserve and enhance green space in our communities for today and future generations”; Horticulture Magazine; the MSD; the Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District; the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); the Delhi Township Park District (DTPD); and Tim Young, Landscape Designer, Delhi Flower and Garden Center Landscaping, to establish a demonstration CIP project in Delhi Township Park, Hamilton County.  Tim has volunteered to design the garden plantings.  Project Evergreen will pay for the plant materials and supplies.  The DTPD will till the gardens and provide other services.  Hamilton County Master Gardener Volunteers and DTPD employees and volunteers will plant and maintain the gardens.

Three primary goals have been established for the CIP’s:  

1) They will be part of a comprehensive storm water management strategy for that location, directing storm water around – rather than through – a picnic area and then infiltrate as much of  it as possible into gardens instead of into the storm sewer system.  As such, the water will become an asset – providing moisture to sustain gardens that will beautify the landscape and provide food and cover for wildlife – instead of a liability to be treated at taxpayers’ expense.  Therefore, the construction of the CIP’s will be followed by the construction rain gardens, which will receive water that is at least partially directed to them by the CIP’s.

2)  They will provide photographs and other information necessary to produce training materials, such as PowerPoint presentations and manuals, on the design and installation of CIP’s.

3)  They will provide useful data on the construction and efficacy of CIP’s, especially on installation and maintenance costs.  It is hoped that some hydrological data can also be obtained.

On May 11 the NRCS worked with Extension and the DTPD to lay out the base contour lines for 3 CIP gardens with a laser transit.  The contour lines are designed to give the gardens a 2% slope, which will allow a substantial amount of water to be infiltrated into the gardens and uphill slope while limiting water ponding and directing the uninfiltrated water to intended locations.  The slope of the garden on the left side of the picnic area has been designed to direct the water to the left around the area while the other 2 have been designed to direct the water to the right.  Horticulture magazine sent a photographer and its artistic director to photograph that endeavor.  The DTPD subsequently applied glyphosate to kill the turf within the boundaries of the new garden areas.

The gardens will be planted on May 22 in conjunction with the celebration of  Ohio Master Gardener Volunteer Week, May 17 – 23 (May 26 has been set as a rain date if the weather does not permit planting on May 22).  All Hamilton County Master Gardener Volunteers are invited to participate in this and the plantings at the adjoining Delhi Floral Paradise Gardens on the 22nd.  (See the article by Julie Crook for additional information on volunteering for Ohio Master Gardener Volunteer Week activities.)   Join us in becoming a part of horticultural history, while learning first hand how to install a contour infiltration planting!  Put the 22nd on your calendar today!

There will be a feature article on this project in Horticulture Magazine this fall, which will document all phases of the establishment of the gardens.  Additional information on CIP’s may also be found in “Guidelines for Utilizing Rain Gardens as a Storm Water Management Tool in the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati”, which will be available online at in the near future.


"Old Rural Conservation Concepts for the New Urban Landscape"

Ohio State University Extension of Hamilton County and the Hamilton County Master Gardener Volunteers collarborated with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and the Cincinnati Flower Growers Association to construct an exhibit in the Grand Marquee at the 2009 Cincinnati Flower Show. 

Writer:  Candace Pollock,, (614) 292-3799, @CommTechMedia on Twitter

Source:  Pam Bennett, OSU Extension,, (937) 328-4607

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- From money management to environmental stewardship to good gardening practices, Ohio State University Extension Master Gardeners are finding ways to be more "green." They'll showcase their efforts during Master Gardener Volunteer Program Week May 17-23.

Master Gardener Volunteer Program Week, which began last year, honors the hard work and dedication of master gardener volunteers throughout Ohio and recognizes OSU Extension's efforts in promoting the Master Gardener volunteer program. The program provides leadership and educational development to individuals interested in gardening and giving back to their communities.

"Master Gardeners Volunteers Teaching 'Green'" is this year's theme for Master Gardener Volunteer Program Week and activities and programs will be held throughout Ohio's counties emphasizing that theme.  For more information on 'green' tips for your garden and landscape, go to:

County Beacon, Woodsfield, Ohio

by Arlean Selvy, Publisher

The budding of beautification and educational projects were seen at the April 20 meeting of Woodsfield Village Council, which also granted a variance for a gift shop on North Main Street.  


Councilwoman Carol Hehr reported a meeting with members of the Master Gardeners Club and they will be looking at ways to beautify the walking trail. She said they want to place signs to identify plant life' and trees. She indicated club members will be cleaning and planting along the trail: Hehr noted the trail will be a place of educational value if the new school is built at the proposed location nearby. 

Eight Master Gardener volunteers took time out of their busy Extension

Lucas County Master Gardener Volunteers will be meeting Thursday, June14th, at 6:00 p.m. to kick off Ohio's Master Gardener Week May 17th - 23rd.





The Master Gardeners of Summit Co. invite you to join them on Saturday, June 27, 2009, for their 9th annual Tour of Gardens.  The Tour runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes the opportunity to shop at our Posie Shoppe. 

The Summit County Master Gardeners have awarded seven grants totaling $4000.00 for educational and horticulture related programs for 2009.  All of the grant projects have been made possible through funds from the Master Gardeners of Summit County.  The annual "Tour of Gardens" which will be held on Saturday June 27, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. is one of the events that help to fund the grant program.  It is a self-guided tour of some of Summit Counties best private gardens and an opportunity to shop at the Posie Shoppe.  During the Tour, posters depicting the various projects will be on display at the Secret Garden Patron Party.

Franklin MGVs on EarthFranklin County Master Gardener Volunteers spread out across Franklin County for Earth Day events this year and were one of 50 organizations with an educational booth at the Dublin Eco Expo on Saturday, April 11.

Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County and Ohio State University Extension presented a seminar on vegetable gardening on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at the Happy Days Event Center in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 

Check out the following link to a Maryland Garden blogger:



The Brown County Master Gardener Volunteers held their monthly business meeting on April 9th. To finish the meeting, Ray Koch -- a Master Gardener and the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Highland County -- introduced Brown County to rain barrel construction.

Ag. and Horticulture professionals in the Top of Ohio Extension Education and Research Area (EERA), which includes the counties of Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Hardin, Mercer, Miami, Logan, Shelby, and Union have now combined to provide Master Gardener Volunteers and interested horticulturalists with the latest and greatest information on programs, events, and facts on all things horticultural.  Anyone is welcome to view the blog, located at

The 15th Annual Southwest Ohio Perennial School was held on April 2nd at the Clermont County Fairgrounds in Owensville. Over 140 participants enjoyed the combined knowledge of five local speakers.

Clark County’s MGV Ambassador to the Governor’s Residence, Deanne Rucker, helped grandson Tyler Rucker find a new Ty, Cocao, and Crashhome for his two 8-year old Red-eared Slider turtles. Tyler, 16, has had the Sliders since they were small enough to sit in the palm of his hand. He kept them in aquariums that had controlled heating and fed them commercial turtle food—rich in protein.  

I just wanted to let everyone know the results of our 3 MGV Restructuring Brainstorm sessions.  These were held April 13 and 15.  Following is a brief summary of the discussion and a list of questions that the overall MGV program needs to address.  Quite honestly, people are expressing that this might not be as bad as we thought when the restructuring first came out.  We still have the state budget wild card to deal with but overall, we will be able to work through this in positive way.  It was great to hear people say that they were already planning on helping out with other programs in the EERA’s.


Trumbull County Master Gardeners, on Feb. 21st, worked at the Mahoning Valley Home and Garden Show, getting the word out to the public about MG projects.   

The Richland Co. Master Gardeners will be present at the Kingwood Center, Mansfield, OH, "From Seed to Table" spring festival on Saturday, May 2nd.  Topics will include "The Seasons of the Vegetable Garden", "The Perfect Tomato", and "Harvesting the Bounty".    The MGV's will also have a table to answer gardening questions and talk about the MGV program.  For more information, go to and click on "programs" and for directions to Kingwood Center, 900 Park Ave. West, Mansfield, OH  44906.   The programs are free.

Knox CountyIt certainly felt like spring on Saturday April 4, 2009 in the Great Hall of the Mount Vernon Developmental Center.  The Knox County Master Gardener Volunteers transformed the Great Hall into a literal springtime garden with magnolia and forsythia blooms spread throughout the room.  Bright, yellow daffodils added their cheer to the decor of the room as well.  The decorations were just to add 'atmosphere' to the day long workshop sponsored by the Knox County Master Gardeners Volunteers. 

 Dear Fellow Master Gardener volunteers,

I am a long-time Master Gardener volunteer in Greene County who cares about OSU Extension as much as you and am asking your help with the budget crisis that Extension is facing.  As you may know, OSUE has already experienced cuts of almost 10%, resulting in more than 25 lost positions.  This has affected all areas of the state.  With the upcoming state budget, we could face more severe cuts that would be catastrophic to our programs, including the Master Gardener Voluntee program.  State Senator Chris Widener met with a group of volunteers recently and noted that he is indeed receiving a lot of letters and calls regarding this issue.  He also suggested that we follow up with contacts to Governor Ted Strickland and Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut.

I am providing the address and contact information below as well as talking points.  Feel free to copy and paste this information into a letter and add your own words and experiences.  Tell them what Extension means to you and the impact that Master Gardener volunteers are making in their communties.  Use all methods of communication - phone, fax, email, letter, etc!  If you haven't written to your State Representatives or Senators, please do so immediately.  The budget is in the House right now and will be sent to the Senate in May.  Your words can be very helpful and will be heard! 

If, like me, you value this program and want to do what you can to protect it, act immediately.  The contact information is below as well as a sample letter.  Thanks for your support and pass this along to your friends and neighbors who are also users of Extension!

Respectively submitted,

Thais Reiff, Greene County Master Gardener Volunteer

Tim Malinich, Lorain County's Extension Agent, recently taught advanced class attendants  how to propagate nearly everything.  He how to propagate plants at his presentation “Propagation101 and Beyond” given March 19th at Trumbull County Agricultural Center. Tim, Lorain County’s Extension agent, enlightened 46 attendees, which included MGs, Interns and the public. 

Malinich teaches propagation

Trumbull County MGs at Booth

Trumbull County Master Gardeners recently worked the Mahoning Valley Home and Garden Show getting the word out to the public about MG projects. The MGs manning their booth at Eastwood Mall’s Expo Center, told people about Springtime at the Garden (May 9), Sunplace Special: A Children’s Garden, and the master gardeners’ organization.   Trumbull County MGV Anne Whitfield, Interns Barbara Frasco and John O'Connor talk with booth visitors.