Our Mission:

The Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association, located in Rock County, Wisconsin, is the 42nd association of the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program.

This blog is used to distribute timely information to association members regarding volunteer opportunities, MGV highlights, and other social tid bits.

Horticulture related information is to be directed to the Horticulture Educator or the Plant Health Advisors.

This blog is not for garden related questions.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

PHA team moves back to UWEX office

This year the Rock County UWEX PHA team was invited to go back to Rotary Botanical Gardens to set up a PHA station where we could accept questions from walk-in clients, and accept samples and photos to use in our diagnostic work.

When Mike M was still Educational Director he set up a PHA Station where we had the advantage of a fully equipped desk and library in what is now the Education Room. Since Mike's departure from his position with RBG, that area has been completely repurposed into a fully functional Education Room which offers RBG the ability to present more and better programming for children and adults.

Because of the revamp of the Education Room RBG is currently unable to provide us with a permanent location from which we can work, however we came up with what we thought would be workable solution. Eager to resume work from RBG, we set up an "Office in a briefcase" using a laptop and scanner on a borrowed desk with the Internet for research using the UWEX Learning Store and other extension websites for references. All RBG staff went out of their way to accommodate us. Although the idea sounded workable, it eventually became evident that although it was a great idea in theory, in practice it didn't work out as well as we had anticipated.

Because research is a large component of our work it became clear that we do need a permanent spot, out of the main areas of the building, with a fully equipped desk and a library, where we can work uninterrupted to provide the community and RBG with the best results from our services.

Sometimes even the best ideas do not have the desired outcome. In the end, we decided that to achieve the best results of our labors and provide the best service to the most people in the community we would need to move back to the UWEX office on the second floor in the Rock County courthouse where we will be available to all comers on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm. We will have a PHA at the Janesville Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings beginning in mid-June.

We wish to thank former RBG Interim Executive Director Gary Smith, current Executive Director Kelli Cameron, Education Director Kris Koch, Volunteer Coordinator and Facility Associate Lori Ebneter, Facility and Events Manager Polly Punzel, the many-hatted and always supportive Mark Dwyer, the RBG Education Committee, and all the staff at RBG for giving it their all to try to make this work for us and for RBG. They were all wonderful to work with.

We are hoping that perhaps in future we may be able to reprise this idea.

PHA Team Leader
Mary Kay Thompson

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