Revised and Approved: September 24, 2014

Union County Master Gardener Association

  1. The name of the organization will be “Union County Master Gardener Association.”
  2. Purpose and Objectives
    1. Purpose
      1. The purpose of the Union County Master Gardener Association (Association), a not-for-profit organization, is to promote and teach environmentally sound, research-based gardening practices primarily to the residents of Union County and secondarily to other Ohio residents, under the auspices of Ohio State University Extension of Union County.
    2. Objective
      1. Support the mission and objectives of the Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Program.
      2. Increase member knowledge of research-based gardening practices.
      3. Strive to provide the highest quality educational programming and service to the community.
  3. Membership
    1. Master Gardener Trainee
      1. Individual currently enrolled in the Master Gardener Course.
    2. Master Gardener Intern
      1. Individual who has successfully completed the Master Gardener Course and is accruing 50 hours of volunteer service with 10 of those hours having been served in McCloud Park.
      2. The Master Gardener Course is typically held in the fourth quarter and upon completion of the Master Gardener Course, interns will have the next calendar year to complete the 50 service hour requirement and attain certified Master Gardener status.
    3. Certified Master Gardener
      1. Individual who has completed Master Gardener Course and 50 hours of volunteer service with 10 of those hours having been served in McCloud Park. 
      2. Master Gardeners must be certified each year to maintain their active status and the Master Gardener title.
      3. To certify, Master Gardeners must use the VMS to digitally sign the Annual Volunteer Agreement and Request for Certification, Ohio State University Extension Standards of Behavior/MGV Name Usage, Pesticide Management Policy, and other documents as required.
    4. Active Master Gardener
      1. Individual who is a certified Master Gardener.
      2. A Master Gardener who has completed a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer service per year in Union County.
      3. A Master Gardener who has completed a minimum of 10 hours of horticultural education per year.
      4. A Master Gardener who has attended a minimum of two business meetings per year. Attendance requirement will be at the discretion of the officers.
      5. A Master Gardener who has remitted payment for the assessed state fee or participated in the designated project as required per year.
    5. Inactive Master Gardener
      1. Individual who desires to remain a Master Gardener but has not completed the annual commitment of 20 volunteer service hours. 
      2. An inactive Master Gardener is one who is in good standing, having completed the original commitment of training, exam, and volunteer service. 
      3. The inactive Master Gardener must complete 10 hours of education in horticulture for the total years they are inactive. 
      4. An inactive Master Gardener may re-certify within three years as long as they meet the criteria noted above. 
      5. Individuals on inactive status for more than three years must also retake and pass the final exam with a minimum score of 70%, in addition to meeting the education requirements noted above.
    6. Out-of-State Master Gardener
      1. Individual who is certified through another state's Master Gardener Program may be admitted into the Union County Master Gardener Program. 
      2. Individual must acquire a current Ohio Master Gardener training manual and an Ohio Master Gardener name badge. 
      3. Individual must score a minimum of 70% on the final exam administered by the Union County Master Gardener Coordinator. 
      4. Individual must meet the re-certification requirements listed in “Membership-Inactive Master Gardener.”
    7. Ohio Out-of-County Master Gardener
      1. Individual who is certified in another Ohio county may be admitted into the Union County Master Gardener Program. 
      2. Individual must be a certified Ohio Master Gardener in good standing. 
      3. Individual must complete an interview with the Union County Master Gardener Coordinator. 
      4. Individual must transfer their records to the Union County Master Gardener Coordinator from the county where they are currently certified.
    8. Dismissed Master Gardener
      1. Individual who displays repeated and consistent disregard for the policies and guidelines established by Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Master Gardener Program.
      2. The Master Gardener in question will be informed in writing of the termination of his/her affiliation with the Association.
      3. This notice of dismissal will become part of the volunteer’s confidential file.
    9. The Executive Committee is empowered to address performance concerns with members and committees.
    10. The membership eligibility year is January 1 through December 31.
    11. All active members of the Association will have voting privileges and are eligible to participate in all Master Gardener competitions (drawings, contests, door prizes, etc.)
    12. All Master Gardener member activities will be undertaken with the full approval and sanction of the Master Gardener Coordinator, Extension Agent, and Extension staff. Members are prohibited from pursuing activities on their own and representing the Association without the full approval and sanction of Ohio State University Extension of Union County governance as noted above. Members who violate this prohibition may be subject to immediate dismissal from the Association.
    13. Members need not reside in Union County, but must complete their annual volunteer service requirements in Union County.
  4. Election and Duties of Office
    The officers consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
    1. Election of Officers
      1. Officers are elected on an annual basis at the October Master Gardener meeting.
      2. The nominating committee, appointed by the President, will present a slate of officer candidates at the October meeting.  Nominations may be accepted from the floor.  If there is more than one nominee per office, election will be by written ballot. 
      3. Association officers may serve no more than two, one-year elected consecutive terms.  The term of office is from January 1 through December 31.
      4. Any unexpired term will be filled by appointment by the Master Gardener Coordinator and the President.
    2. Duties of Officers
      1. President - Preside at all regular meetings and executive committee meetings, prepare monthly agendas, appoint committee chairs as necessary, and sign checks in the absence of the Treasurer. The President will serve as ex-officio member of all standing project committees except nominating. 
      2. Vice President - Perform such duties as pertain to the office of the President, in the absence of the President.  The Vice President will chair the Education Committee.
      3. Secretary - Record the minutes of each meeting, keep attendance records, and send a copy of the minutes to the Master Gardener Coordinator on a timely basis.  The minutes will be posted monthly on the Association’s website. The Secretary is also responsible for Association correspondence.
      4. Treasurer -
        1. The treasurer must possess bookkeeping skills and the ability to manage Association finances using spreadsheets or other Association agreed-upon financial software.
        2. Maintain an accurate account of treasury and The Ohio State University Foundation receipts and disbursements and give a monthly accounting to the Association.  Collect and deposit all monies to the bank of choice determined by the Association.  Disburse funds upon the approval of the Association; the President or Vice President must sign reimbursement forms in advance of disbursement.  Prepare an annual budget in conjunction with the other officers and committee chairs.  Review and screen all funding requests presented to the Association to ensure alignment with the Association’s mission, approved projects, educational activities, workshops, etc. identified through the committees.  Present appropriate requests to Association members at monthly meetings for their approval/disapproval. Include funds in The Ohio State University Foundation account (311057) as a line entry in monthly and annual reports to the Association.  Prepare an annual budget for presentation to the membership for approval at the January meeting. Help with the annual audit of the Association’s income and expenses in accordance with Ohio State Extension standards.
      5. All Officers - Attend Executive Committee meetings chaired by the President, attended by the Master Gardener Coordinator, and conducted at least one week prior to the monthly Association meeting.  Executive Committee meetings (a) facilitate the orderly operation of the Association; and (b) provide leadership, direction, and guidance for continuity and quality of the program and to meet the Association's purpose and objectives.
  5. Selection and Appointment of the Volunteer Coordinator(s)
    1. A Volunteer Coordinator is needed if the position is not a paid Ohio State University Extension position.
    2. The Volunteer Coordinator term is for two years, renewable in two year increments at the discretion of the current coordinator, the Association, and Union County Extension.
    3. Volunteer Coordinators duties are contained in the Ohio State University Master Gardener Coordinator Manual.
    4. The selection process includes (a) solicitation of interest by the officers, (b) vetting of candidates with the Association and Union County Extension, and (c) confirmation by the Association.
  6. Long- and Short-Term Projects/Committees
    1. A complete list of Long and Short Term Projects/Committees is found in the Volunteer Management System (VMS).  Some of particular note are also identified below.
    2. Long Term Projects/Committees are those that have a long duration, generally over the course of years.  Those that focus on a particular project may be disbanded when the Association decides to end the project.  Examples of Long Term Projects/Committees are:
      1. Executive Committee - consists of the officers and the coordinators.
      2. Education Committee - plan and implement programs to be presented at the monthly Association meetings; plan educational activities and events for Master Gardeners outside meeting times, (e.g. tours, clinics); maintain Association archives, (e.g. scrapbooks, records of major programs).
      3. Project Evaluation/Selection Committee - review and approve/disapprove any request from the community for help with projects involving the Association's expertise, member resources, etc.; confer with the Master Gardener Coordinator to determine the total number of projects and hours the Association may commit to annually and consider the total number of projects available volunteer hours when selecting projects; conduct an annual review of ongoing/historic projects to determine whether they should be continued; make project recommendations to the Association.
        1. All projects will reflect the Mission and Values of the Association.
      4. Timekeeping - consists of one member to maintain historical Master Gardener volunteer/education hours and ensure that all Master Gardener volunteers enter their hours prior to the annual report conducted by Ohio State University Extension at the end of the calendar year.
      5. Other Long Term Projects/Committees include and are not limited to: Ask a Master Gardener Volunteer, COYC, Love and Learn, McCloud Park, Speakers Bureau.
    3. Short Term Projects/Committees are those that have duration of weeks or months and are appointed and disbanded when needed.  A project chair is appointed by the officers or a volunteer is accepted to manage the event or accomplish a task, and the committee dissolves once the task is complete. Examples of Short Term Projects/Committees are:
      1. Nominating - consists of three members appointed by the President and presents a slate of officer candidates at the October meeting.
      2. Other Short Term Projects/Committees include and are not limited to Dahlia Show, Farm Science Review, and Recognition Banquet.
  7. Meetings
    1. Monthly meetings will be held the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m., excluding the month of December.
    2. If there is a special meeting or a regular meeting change, an email notice will be sent to the membership 14 days in advance.
    3. Meetings with the Officers and Coordinator will be held at least one week prior to the monthly Association Meeting.
  8. Volunteer Management System (VMS) and Communication
    1. All members will submit their volunteer and educational hours through the VMS.
    2. The VMS is the primary way that volunteer activities will be managed.
    3. Communication will occur via email rather than U.S. mail.
  9. Fiscal year
    1. The fiscal year is January 1 through December 31.
    2. All financial records will be maintained on the fiscal year.
  10. The Constitution will be available through the VMS.
  11. Amendments to the Constitution
    1. Notice of the amendment will be emailed to all members 14 days prior to voting.
    2. The amendment must meet the approval of the Union County Extension Agent and the Union County Master Gardener Coordinator.
    3. Amendment of the Union County Master Gardener Association Constitution may be adopted by two-thirds vote of the members in attendance at a monthly Master Gardener meeting.
  12. Constitution Review and Revision
    1. The constitution will be reviewed every five years.  If revision is recommended, members will be notified by email 14 days prior to voting.
    2. The President will appoint the Constitution Committee.
    3. Revision to the Union County Master Gardener Association Constitution may be adopted by two-thirds vote of the members in attendance at a monthly Master Gardener meeting.
  13. Dissolution of the Union County Master Gardener Association
    In the event the Union County Master Gardener Association terminates their Association, the funds in the treasury will be donated to the Union County Extension Office.