Pine County Master Gardeners pictured at their Jan. 21 Awards Night at Osprey Wilds are - standing L to R: Cheryl McHugh, Pine City; Char Husom, Brook Park; Karen Jansen, Pine City; Lauren Meister, Rush City; Barb Videen, Pine City; Carol Evans, Grasston; Kara Nelson, Askov; Clarissa Ellis-Prudhomme, Sturgeon Lake; Roxanne Beavers, Tom Rolf and Cindy Novy, Pine City; Sue Sloper, Willow River and Sandra Johnson, Finlayson.  Seated L to R: Terry Salmela, Coordinator; Julie Kroschel, Hinckley; Bonnie Carlson, Rush City; Chris St. George and Nancy Babin, Pine City; Kim Metz, Rush City; Diane Scheremet, Hinckley; Nancy and Kevin Stephenson, Brook Park.

Thirty-Five University of Minnesota Extension Pine County Master Gardeners volunteered 2,679 hours and put in 444 education hours in 2019. They were honored at their Awards Night and Dinner at Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center (formerly the Audubon Center of the Northwoods) west of Sandstone on Jan. 21.

Paul Olesen, Askov was recognized for his 1,000 hours of volunteer service. Two master gardeners were recognized for 20 years of service.  They were Char Husom, Brook Park and Sandra Johnson, Finlayson.  Six received 10 years of service awards. They were Jennifer Eaves and Charles Mans, Hinckley; Roger and Linda Fischer, Cindy Novy and Barb Videen, Pine City. Three received their Master Gardener Certification Certificates and name badges for completing their intern year that included a 48-hour U of M Extension horticulture core course and 50 volunteer hours of service.  They were Anita Flansburg, Hinckley; Karen Jansen, Pine City and Cassidy Roberts, Rush City.

The Pine County Master Gardeners main projects in 2019 included: Raising funds for and rejuvenating the Pine City Community Garden and presenting a six-session Summer Gardening Series at the garden Helping to rejuvenate the Hinckley School Garden and providing seven after-school ‘Garden in Residence’ classes for 56 Hinckley Elementary School garden club members; Junior Master Gardener sessions for 30 Pine City Elementary School after-school students; Pine County Horticulture Day; Pine City Summer Food and Fun Project; Ask a Master Gardener booths at the Pine County Fair, Grand Casino and Pine City Farmers Market; Coffee with a Master Gardener sessions at the Sandstone Library; Yard & Garden Thymes Newspaper columns; a plant sale and a Facebook page.

The officers and leadership team for 2020 will be Kevin Stephenson, President and Adult Leadership Liaison; Barbara Fischer, Vice President and Extension Committee Representative; Kim Metz, Secretary and Adult Leadership Liaison; Tom Rolf, Treasurer; Kara Nelson, Past President. Members-at-Large include: Jennifer Eaves; Nancy Stephenson, Carol Evans and Barbara Videen. Youth Leadership Liaisons are Carol Evans and Lori Peters and the Coordinator is Terry Salmela.

The master gardeners invite everyone to save the date of Saturday, April 4 for the 18th Annual Pine County Master Gardener Horticulture Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pine City High School. Look for registration information at the U of M Extension Pine County webpage at and click on “Pine County Horticulture Day.”

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