Chapter Chat - Nov 2023

Next Chapter Meeting
President's Message
Learning Garden Update
Education Garden Update
2023 Fall Social
Upcoming Events
MGs of Note
Your Interests
Plant Sale
Book Review
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
7:00 - 8:00 PM PDT - Free Webinar, Open to All
Registration Required
8:00-9:00 PM PDT - Members Meeting
A brief history of the Kalapuyan people of the Willamette Valley and overview of the "This IS Kalapuyan Land" exhibition originally shown at the Five Oaks Museum in 2018-2019 and again at the Pittock Mansion in 2023 from Feb-July.
Steph Littlebird ​is an artist, curator, writer, and a member of Oregon’s Grand Ronde Confederated Tribes. She received national recognition as curator of This IS Kalapuyan Land (2020) an exhibition at the Five Oaks Museum in Portland, which was featured by ArtNews and PBS NewsHour. Other curatorial projects include Untold Parallels, Mata Art Gallery, L.A. (2020), which re-examined colonial histories of the so-called Philippines and Filipinx-American diaspora, and colonized people Indigenous to “North America.'' Most recently, Pʰot-Choch, an exhibition held at Anita, Astoria OR (2021) presented traditional and contemporary art of the original Chinook inhabitants of the North Coast. Her visual work frequently engages issues related to present-day Indigenous identities, marginalized histories, and responsible land stewardship. Littlebird earned her B.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland, she currently lives and works in Las Vegas.
The picture is of my 2022 wildflower garden that became my entirely lupine garden this summer. I have done my best to remove all lupine roots, they’re thick like carrots!, and have ordered a lupine-free wildflower mix to sow after two hard frosts. Gardening is such an adventure!

I encourage everyone to tune into this month’s chapter meeting November 7. Not only does Steph Littlebird’s presentation, This IS Kalapuyan Land sound interesting and important, but in addition we have the vote for board positions and presentation of the 2024 budget to vote on at the December meeting.  Please make every effort to be present for both.

And remember to pay your dues by December 15.

As always, thanks for everything you do to support the Washington County Master Gardeners and sustainable gardening.
Photos courtesy of Anna Stubbs and Robin Burnham

September’s bountiful harvest resulted in 314 pounds of vegetables, fruit, and herbs being donated to the Westside Food Brigade.  They are an Oregon Food bank partner and serve over 300 families per week in the local community near the Learning Garden. This brings the total through September to 703 pounds. The monthly amounts were May - 57 lbs., June - 51 lbs., July - 101 lbs., Aug - 180 lbs., Sept - 314 lbs. A huge thank you to Suzanne Burnett who took the donations to the food pantry every week.

The Divide and Conquer class on October 7th was very well received. Attendees learned great information from Jennifer Rosenquist and Cindy Muir about a variety of plant root systems and the best methods to divide one plant into several.

Regular work parties are on Thursday mornings. All are welcome! Come volunteer at a time that is convenient for you between 9 am and 1 pm. For more information contact Steve Kister or Robin Burnham
It was a very busy October with projects still underway for the remainder of the year and into winter.
  • We were awarded an American Conifer Society (ACS) Reference Garden grant, receiving $3500 for creation of metal engraved plant signs for the Education Garden.  Our ability to apply for this grant is one of the benefits of the WCMGA Education Garden/PCC Rock Creek having become an ACS Reference Garden about a year ago.  These signs will last for several years, thereby saving many hours of MG time for the biennial replacement the paper labels.  The check was given to WCMGA represented by Lisa Hansen, Elizabeth Price, and Sue Ryburn at the recent ACS Western Rendezvous.   Thanks to Elizabeth Price and Lisa Barnhart for help in writing the grant.
  • Work continues on transplanting, pruning, removing, replacing plants throughout the garden.  The Education Garden team prepared a task list of priorities which we have been working through. Many thanks to Susan Albright for creating a research-based worksheet with information about best practices for making such changes.  Thanks to the entire garden team for the work to make these changes.
  • Planning is underway for the 2024 In the Garden Series (IGS) with a goal to have a schedule finalized before Thanksgiving.  Interested in delivering an IGS using the PCC Rock Creek site using classroom/workroom space, the WCMGA Education Garden, campus grounds or potentially the PCC RC Learning Garden?  This is a great time to get started.  Please contact Susan Albright or Sue Ryburn if you have a topic you would like to lead for a 2024 IGS.
  • We need two more volunteers to share in the 2024 IGS set up and take down. It is an easy task for which you can get partner hours and also MG Education credits for those IGS that are identified as such.  Interested? Please contact Larina Hoffbeck for more information .
  • Three Polywood Benches purchased from funds donated in honor of Dave Winchester were assembled and ready for use at the WCMGA Fall Social.  Thanks to James Galbreath for transporting them and, along with Larina Hoffbeck and Susan Albright, for assembling them.
  • The entire team cleared the newest addition to our hedgerow, preparing it for additional plants to be added in the coming weeks. Thanks to Lisa Hansen for volunteering to lead the design of the project.
  • We have several winter-time projects to do inside at the computer. It is a good way to get volunteer hours and also learn something new.  If interested, please contact Susan Albright or Sue Ryburn
 Other happenings in the garden:
  • Mark your calendar for monthly Garden Team meetings via Zoom on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6 PM. The next meeting is November 8th  at 6 PM. A link will be sent to the entire Ed Garden email list before the meeting.  Please note we are moving the monthly Zoom meeting to the 2nd Wednesday of the month so MGs can participate in the Master Gardener Trivia Nights. 
  • Weekly Work Parties are Wednesday mornings.  If you would like more information to volunteer contact Susan Albright or Sue Ryburn . If you would like to be added to the Ed Garden email list for weekly information, please contact Susan or Sue.
  • Saturday work parties are held for many 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month.  Interested in being added to that notification list?  Contact Larina Hoffbeck
2023 Fall Social
Our Fall Social event was held on October 14th at the Education Garden at PCC Rock Creek. Despite threatening skies about 30 Master Gardeners came to visit, bringing books for the Little Free Library at the Learning Garden, pots for the Propagation Team, and picking up blue bags for returnable containers to bolster our bank account. There were door prizes for the lucky members with the right numbers. (see photo) This was a good opportunity to catch up with other members, tour the greenhouse, and tour the garden.
My thanks to all who helped with set and take down. The committee members who helped with planning and execution were Marilyn Berti, Larina Hoffbeck, Hope Preston, Harriet Ottaviano, Sue Ryburn, Terry Wagner, and Jonina Weisz.
A special thank you to Jonina for the fall seasonal food she provided. It looked great and tasted even better!
The tri-fold board was set up to honor our award winners for 2023.  
Marilyn Berti – OMGA Master Gardener of the Year
Leslie Ray – nominee for OMGA Behind the Scenes
Marilyn Berti – WCMGA Master Gardener of the Year
Bob Campbell – WCMGA Behind the Scenes
Special Acts/Making a Difference
Judy Fromke
Terry Wagner
Karen Anderson
Sue Ryburn
Susan Albright
Larina Hoffbeck
Robin Burnham
MGs of Note
Board Members Retiring Their Positions - Karen Graham, Lisa Graff, Pat Simmons, Hope Preston, Nadine Johnson, Susan Albright, Sue Ryburn, Leslie Ray
Education Garden contributions - Lisa Barnhart
Meadowscape Garden – Jack Shorr (who organized the project), Lisa Barnhart, Robin Carpenter, John Hembroff (Community Volunteer), Larina Hoffbeck, Loyd Love and Kimber True.
Learning Garden contributions - Bob Campbell, Clyde Keebaugh, and James Galbreath
Multiple contributions - Marilyn Berti
Website Committee - Hope Preston (lead), Helen Dorbolo, Larina Hoffbeck, Pat Simmons, Harriet Ottaviano, Terry Wagner, Holly Beare, Leslie Ray, Eric Butler and Steve Kister
Outreach Activity Kits – Jennifer Rosenquist, Hope Preston, Sue Ryburn, Larina Hoffbeck, Kari Woyak and Susan Albright
Gardenfest Volunteers
Grow 1/Give 1 – Dan McDonald and Stephanie Cliff
Multiple Contributions – Lisa Barnhart
Multiple Contributions – Robin Burnham
Community Volunteers 
Margo Ballantyne, Suzanne Burnett, Dorothy Erpelding and Terri Rottman
Washington County Master Gardener Association invites you to the third of three classes on mason bees led by Ron Spendal. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn how to extract, clean, and store mason bees. If you have cocoons ready for cleaning, bring them along. If you don’t have cocoons, we have plenty for you to practice with. Attendance at the previous Mason Bee classes is not necessary to attend this class.

Ron Spendal is an OSU Master Gardener who has been researching and educating on mason bees for over 15 years. He operates educational mason bee displays across Washington County, Oregon and runs highly sought-after courses on mason bee management through the Washington County Master Gardener Association. Ron designs and builds his own equipment. He conducts research in conjunction with Oregon State University and Montana State University. His work with mason bees has been featured on the Oregon Field Guide program on OPB. Ron has invented a cocoon cleaning device that uses dry sand and can clean up to 100 cocoons in 3 minutes.

For more information:
Annette Bell is recognized as WCMGA MG of Note for November. Annette is an integral part of the Learning Garden at Jenkins Estate. Her many contributions include being the lead for the In-the-Garden Series there. In 2023 she has done a great job of finding and scheduling instructors and ensuring that MG volunteers are present to assist the instructors. She conscientiously arrives early to place directional signing, to open the Jenkins Estate gate, and collect attendance and feedback forms from the attendees. Attendees frequently stay after the classes to enjoy the Learning Garden and Annette is the last to leave, ensuring the Jenkins Estate gate is closed after everyone has departed.
Annette also volunteers in the Learning Garden as co-lead for several themed gardens including Urban Edibles, Blueberries and Grapes, and Carnivorous Plants. She also maintains a section of the Pioneer Herb Garden. Children who visit the garden are frequently enthralled by the carnivorous plants (adults too!). In addition to all her planting, pruning, harvesting, and caring for plants, Annette willingly helps others throughout the Learning Garden. She is thoughtful and creative in solving problems and shares her extensive knowledge.
All Annette’s support in the Learning Garden adds to the great statement it makes to the public and other members who visit and enjoy it.
Get Involved – Stay Involved – Try Something New
The talents and interests of our volunteers are the lifeblood of Washington County Master Gardeners. They fuel our mission!  From time to time we ask you what you are interested in and how you want to spend your volunteer hours to best match your interests with the chapter’s activities and projects. Please complete this short interest survey online by Nov 15 so we can take account of these, our chapter’s most valuable resources, in our 2024 planning.
This QR code will take you directly to the survey:
Or use this link: 
Thank you!   And, if you have already done the survey at the WCMGA Social on 10/14,  thank you!

Questions or concerns?   Contact Marilyn Berti at 
or Larina Hoffbeck at

Mark Your Calendars for the 2023 WCMGA Member Houseplant Sale!

Browse a broad selection of nearly 200 houseplants
Grown by
 the WCMGA Propagation Team


Donations of boxes for carrying plants and gently used decorative pots to support the Houseplant Sale will be welcomed. They can be dropped off at the PCC-LAT greenhouse between 9-11am on Mondays or Fridays in November.

Questions: Contact Judy Bell:

From 1982-1986 more than a dozen bills were introduced in Congress to protect the Columbia River Gorge. A Force for Nature is both a biography and a detailed accounting of how Nancy Russell, an untested activist, was driven to lead a very contested conservation battle in the 1980’s to successfully protect the Columbia River Gorge. Her efforts lead to the establishment of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, to protect this scenic and immensely significant area. The legislation was passed on the last day of the Congressional session in 1986 and signed by a reluctant president, Ronald Reagan. There are familiar names and locations throughout the book with many intriguing details.

The author, Bowen Blair, conducted extensive research, using the private collection of Nancy Russell which contains research material, correspondence, articles, documents for the litigation and legislation, and internal documents from Friends of the Columbia George, Portland Garden Club, Garden Club of America, and Trust for Public Land. He consulted the documents from the John Yeon collection about the Columbia River Gorge and The Shire. He also used video footage from news stations about the efforts to enact the National Scenic Area legislation and the prevention of development in the Gorge. He conducted interviews from 2012 to 2020 and references many reports, newspapers, and books. Blair is an environmental activist himself; he was appointed by two Oregon governors to the Gorge Commission, which he chaired. He has worked to protect some of the nation's most important landscapes and acquired several hundred thousand acres of land for public and tribal ownership.

This is a real-life story told from the inside out which interweaves the natural and political history of an incredible and legendary landscape that is in our own backyard. After reading this book I realized the immensity of debt and gratitude we owe to Nancy Russell and those who worked with her to save one of the most historic and scenic landscapes in our country.
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