Four Master Gardeners are recipients of the Master Gardener of the Year and Behind the Scenes Awards for their contributions to the OSU Extension Central Gorge Master Gardener program.

Master Gardeners of the Year

The awards went to Renee Taylor and Christie Bradley.

Renee Taylor

Taylor became a Master Gardener volunteer in 2016 and since then has demonstrated leadership in many ways. When the Central Gorge Master Gardener Program Assistant left for another position while classes and activities for 2020 were being planned, Taylor took charge and finished classroom sessions, testing and the recognition celebration. She also finalized the entire Master Gardener 2020 training schedule of in depth and interesting classes taught by OSU professors, staff and local experts against suggestions from others to drop the program for 2020.

Taylor also orchestrated a new summer seminar series of lectures for the public designed to enhance the presence of Master Gardeners in the community as well as to educate the public. This series became the Gardening to Save the World webinar. In 2019, Taylor became president of the Central Gorge Master Gardener Association after serving on the executive committee for several years. Taylor has been instrumental in improving the CGMGA website and adding new items.

She was publisher of the CGMGA newsletter, was helpful in producing the final invitation for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Japanese Heritage Garden, and worked on other aspects that involved her creative talents. Taylor formed a Plant Clinic committee and supported their work in organizing and supervising the Plant Clinic office. Additionally, Taylor attends most training sessions, participated on the Japanese Heritage Garden 10th Anniversary planning committee, taught in the Seed to Supper program, chaired the Garden Tour, and is generally willing to volunteer her experience and expertise when needed.

Christie Bradley

Bradley joined the Master Gardener program in 2009, began serving as secretary of the Central Gorge Master Gardener Association in 2011 and continues to provide this service.

In the past year, she has been instrumental in the organization’s transition to a new program assistant and development of the 2020 curriculum. She also co-chaired the Seed to Supper classes with Taylor, and serves as a mentor to new Master Gardener trainees. After several years of working on the Master Gardener Plant Sale committee, in 2020 she became co-chair for this project. With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, Bradley stepped up  and took charge to design, implement, and advise the technology aspect of the new Master Gardener Virtual Plant Clinics. She offers her time whenever needed and has been instrumental in helping the Master Gardener membership to transition to Virtual Plant Clinics and make them successful. Without Bradley’s sharing of her extensive technical skills and abilities, community members would not be able to receive assistance from Master Gardeners for their plant and pest questions during the coronavirus pandemic. Bradley also hosts Zoom sessions for CGMGA meetings so that the organization can continue working toward their goals during this time of isolation. Bradley collaborates with everyone and works quietly in the background as much as possible to make the OSU Extension Central Gorge Master Gardener program successful.

Behind the Scenes awards

Shari Bosler and Anne Saxby received this award.

Shari Bosler

Bosler is a familiar face with OSU Extension Central Gorge Master Gardeners. Although she does much in the public eye, she is also active behind the scenes. Bosler has been a member of the Executive Committee in a variety of positions and has been the newsletter editor for several years. She is a member of Central Gorge Master Gardener Association’s advisory committee, and contributed ideas, contacted potential speakers, and kept the communication with the Master Gardener membership ongoing.

In addition to her work at the local level, Bosler has chaired the state committee to seek speakers for the Oregon Master Gardener Mini College planned for July 2020 and helped with other aspects of planning for the event.

This participation with OMGA and contacts around the state have allowed Bosler to be a conduit of information and new ideas to our local level from other chapters. Bosler has been a long time contributor in many ways to the CGMG program but has really stepped up behind the scenes and is a very deserving candidate for recognition as the Central Gorge Behind the Scenes Master Gardener for 2020.

Anne Sarby

Saxby has been an OSU Central Gorge Master Gardener since 2005 and is a Lifetime Master Gardener. Saxby has been an active member serving as treasurer for the CGMGA, mentor to new Master Gardener trainees, co-chair of the Japanese Heritage Garden opening celebration, and was project leader for the native plant garden in the Learning Garden. Over the years, she has also assisted with plant sales, garden tours, and in the Learning Garden. Saxby was honored as Master Gardener of the Year in 2008 along with Rita Saling for work they did on the JHG. Most recently, Saxby stepped up to organize and orchestrate Master Gardener Plant Clinics when Central Gorge Master Gardeners lost their program assistant. Saxby, with the help of others, physically rearranged the plant clinic office so that it became more functional. She ensured that the clinic was staffed and mentored the Master Gardeners volunteering there. Saxby collected data about the problems that Central Gorge Master Gardeners encountered and evaluated the quality of research and suggestions provided by Master Gardener volunteers. Several improvements were identified to enhance the continuity and quality of Plant Clinic responses to the public. Saxby continues to serve as a Plant Clinic committee member, assists Master Gardeners in research of client questions when additional information is needed and makes suggestions and recommendations. She also worked closely in the formation of Virtual Plant Clinics. Saxby has given much of her time and skills to insure that the Master Gardener Plant Clinics not only continue, but improve and progress. Receiving this year’s Behind the Scenes award is a fitting honor to Saxby’s longtime dedication to the Central Gorge Master Gardener program.