A Letter to the Members of MGGD
Dear fellow members of the Master Gardeners of Greater Detroit,
I’m sending this information to advise you on changes taking shape at MSU that
impacts our group, the extension office and we as Master Gardeners. On January
18, Gene represented MGGD, along with Anita and members of the board of Master
Gardeners of Western Wayne County, in Lansing at a meeting with Extension
Director, Dr. Tom Coon, Assistant Extension Director, Dr Steve Lovejoy, State MG
Coordinator Mary Wilson and other Consumer Horticulture Educators. This meeting
was for local coordinators and board members of MSU affiliated associations to
discuss the upcoming changes and to answer their questions. There were about 80
people present representing 31 of the 34 associations. The other three
association representatives were on teleconferencing. There will be a lot of
changes this coming year. These major changes will occur on 1 July. We will no
longer be covered under MSU as a non-profit or covered by their liability
insurance. They will no longer act as a fiduciary for association funds. Also
any moneys that we have with MSUE will be forfeited (I don’t believe we have any
at this time). We will need to obtain our own EIC number as we have been using
MSUE’s up to now.
We will have to change our status; the options are:
1. Disband the group and we would no longer exist. Funds in our bank account to
be disbursed as you wish. MSU will not be taking ANY of our Association funds!
2. Change to a garden club
3. Become incorporated, we’ll need more details on how much this will cost, and
what we need to complete each year for the government, insurance and liability
4. Become our own non-profit, the cost on doing this could be high as we need a
lawyer to assist us. There is still the issue with insurance and liability
5. There was also a lot of talk about forming a state association with local
chapters. But this would have to happen quickly to be in place and then the
costs assessed to each club/group would need to be determined. At this time,
there is nothing in the workings for this option.
There is a transition team formed, which Anita is a member, that will be meeting
in early February to ‘fact find’ the various options. Education is the core
mission of MSUE. It appears that our volunteer hours will be based on this. If
we are not educating people in some way hours may not be applicable (We are
leaders, not weeders. weeding is not teaching).
Classes will also be changing. There will be a new manual out that will be used
state wide beginning in fall 2012. The fee structure for the classes will go to
$300 in every county of the State. Also, the tests will be standardized. This
fall there will only be 7 classes state wide. Wayne Oakland and Macomb Counties
will be holding Fall 2012 classes. Anita is looking at the west side or down
river for the fall classes. Venoy will not allow us to hold the required 4 hour
length of each class so we need to explore other options.
I encourage all of you to carpool and attend the following meeting if possible:
Our February meeting on the 22nd we will start at 7:00 PM to discuss the
information and bring any new information that has become available. Anita will
have additional information from the transition team meeting to share with us.
At our March meeting on the 28th, I plan to present to the members the options
for a vote. Based on the results of the vote, we’ll decide the next steps for
Master Gardeners of Greater Detroit. We will be holding our usual meetings and
events through the June Summer Sendoff. We do know that much for sure. If you
have questions, please send them by email to email@example.com. I’m going to
check every evening and if I don’t have the answer, I’ll post the question to
Anita and will share all with the members. Due to the cost of postage, I will
only be mailing to those that don’t have an email on file.
Lastly, we are going to have a sale on all of our ‘wearables’ with the exception
of the license plates.
Thank you all for support