Volunteer Areas Added

New volunteer projects have been added to the Volunteer Management System (VMS). Be sure to look over them and sign up for any that might interest you. Complete details can be found in the VMS.

If you went through the MGV program in 2016 and you still need volunteer hours, there are a number of evening and weekend opportunities.

Here are a list of the projects:

Downtown Wooster Farmer’s Market

  • Runs June through October. Secrest Master Gardeners will be on hand the second Saturday of each month to answer questions and provide fact sheets.
    • 8 AM- Noon

West View Healthy Living

  • Starts Saturday April 29, from 9-11 AM and meets every-other Saturday.

Cornerstone Playlab

  • Meets once per month throughout the gardening season with additional opportunities available. See the VMS for dates and times.

Secrest Arboretum Newsletter

  • We are looking for writers, a project organizer, proof readers, editors, layout, and photographers. Please contact Paul if you are interested.

Wayne County Home and Garden Show

  • People needed to man the Arboretum/ Master Gardener booth in 2 hour shifts (2 per shirt) April 29-30.
  • You can sign up here.


Join us for our Bug Zoo and Pollinatarium Open House:

Tuesday, April 11th

9AM to 11AM

OARDC in Wooster


Please join us on Tuesday for an open house in our Bug Zoo and Pollinatarium on the OARDC campus in Wooster. 

The Bug Zoo features loads of creepy crawly insects and relatives in engaging natural displays. The Pollinatarium is a small interpretive space to learn more about the importance of pollinators. We’ll have free bee ID cards for all visitors and delicious morning refreshments.

Master Gardeners, home school families, OCVNers, OSU staff and students (and all others) are welcome to attend.

The Bug Zoo is in Thorne Hall (#8 on the map), and the Pollinatarium is just across the parking lot. 

Park in the lot between Thorne Hall and the Administration Building  (between #8 and #9 on the map). 

All ages welcome. Hope to see you then!


Denise and Jeni 

Denise Ellsworth and Jeni Filbrun

Ohio State Extension/Entomology

ellsworth.2@osu.edu or Filbrun.12@osu.edu

Jeni Filbrun

Program Assistant, Bug Zoo

Department of Entomology

College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691




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Week 2: Plant Pathology

What a class Jim put on! I learn so much every time I get to hang around Jim. I hope you enjoyed his class and were challenged to think about plant diseases in a new way.

You can find the class power point (2 parts) on the Plant Pathology page as well as some helpful links.

Please read through the chapter on entomology and be prepared for another great class next week.

Week 1: Botany

Congratulations! You made it through the first class. Your head might be hurting from the botany discussion. Perhaps, you now know how much you don’t know. We started with big ideas that all living organisms have in common then we narrowed the focus and talked about plants specifically. You had the opportunity to study flowers, branches, fruits with the dissecting microscopes and your hand lens.

Today’s class serves as one of the foundations for this 10-week course. Each class will build upon what you learned in this one. Now that you have your manual you should read through this chapter and the one for next week (Chapter 4).

Make sure you check out the videos located on the botany page.

See you next week!


2017 Class Begins Tomorrow

The 2017 Secrest MGV class begins tomorrow! The room is ready.

Due to the predicted forecast, you may park in the main arboretum parking lot, which is located in front of the Research Operations Building. Don’t forget to bring a lunch and a reusable water bottle.

If you went through the class last year you are welcome to sit in on any of this year’s classes (You can see the schedule here). However, if you plan to attend one of the classes please let Paul know so he can have a seat for you.

See you tomorrow!

Start Earning Volunteer Hours

Attention new Master Gardener Interns,

Did you know that you can start earning volunteer hours now? You don’t have to wait until classes start or have finished. You can start volunteering now.

If you are interested in volunteering at Secrest Arboretum we gather on Tuesday mornings from 9-11 AM on a weekly basis during the growing season. In fact, this Tuesday will be an overview of the volunteer program. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Paul Snyder.

If Tuesday mornings do not work for you but you are still interested in being a Secrest volunteer just let Paul know what day works better.

On Tuesday we will gather at the Miller Pavilion in Secrest Arboretum.

Hope to see you there!

A Bug’s World call for volunteers: save the date, March 7 & 8

Join us for “A Bug’s World” in Wooster

Been missing the taste of taco crickets and spicy beetle larvae? Your wait is almost over: A Bug’s World is coming! Our educational event for 2nd and 3rd graders will take place on Tuesday, March 7th and Wednesday, March 8th at the OARDC in Wooster. 

Our volunteers are a big reason for this event’s success! I hope you can help this year. I’ll be sending out the volunteer sign-up in early February, but for now, please save the dates. We need volunteers one or both days. Feel free to pass the word on to fellow OSU volunteers (Master Gardeners or OCVN’ers). 

New volunteers can use this link to join the volunteer e-mail list. (If you got this message in your in-box last week, you’re already on the list. Otherwise, please sign up to join.)

Thanks, and GO BUGS!


 Denise Ellsworth

Master Gardener Training Returns in 2017

Secrest is actively recruiting volunteers to participate in the new Master Gardener class to be held in the arboretum in 2017. The class will be held on Wednesdays from March 15th to May 17th, 9:00AM to 3:30PM. By completing the 50+ hour training program and 50 volunteer hours, participants will become OSU certified Master Gardener volunteers.

There are still spaces for people in class. Apply today, but hurry, the deadline is January 27.

How To Reach Your Goals

A few years ago I started running. At the time I hated running. But I hated how out of shape I was when I tried to play basketball with youth group students even more. So I decided to do something about it, and that something was to make myself run. I thought it would be great to be able to run around the block, which was about two miles, up and down hills. Two miles is a long way if you aren’t a runner. The idea was a little over whelming.

Perhaps you have a goal in mind that you would like to accomplish, but keep putting it off because it seems too unachievable. Maybe you want to read 30 books this year, or swim 20 laps in the pool each day, run a marathon, write a book, or even hike the Appalachian Trail. Whatever it is, unless we choose to look at our goal differently it will always seem too big and unattainable. It will always loom over us like a dark cloud, and has the potential to become a source of discouragement.  If that’s you, then keep reading.

We can all get overwhelmed by goals.

But what if the key to accomplishing our goals was actually pretty easy? What if we could even do something today and begin accomplishing our goals right now?

The key to accomplishing anything is this:

Break it down into smaller more attainable goals.

That’s it. It seems so simple that you might be tempted to stop reading. But I promise you it works.

When I started running, I didn’t try to run 2 miles right away. In fact, I was far from it. I would run for 2 minutes and then walk for four, and I didn’t get very far. So I broke down my goal into smaller more attainable chunks. I would increase the amount of time I ran and decrease the amount of time I walked until I was able to run a mile without stopping.

The same principle is true when a friend and I started a church; there was so much work to be done that it would’ve been easy to just stop. But we decided to make a list, and break our goal down into smaller more attainable goals.

The same thing is true whenever we set any goal. Break it down into smaller more attainable goals and when you meet those goals, celebrate―you are one step closer to writing that book, to running a marathon, to reading all those books. I can tell you from personal experience that that feels good. It feels almost like accomplishing your goal. If you celebrate the little victories along the way they will give you the fuel to move forward with your goal. Once that momentum starts, it can be hard to stop.

Once you break your goal down into bite-size chunks then make it a priority in your schedule. Our calendar is the one thing that can sabotage any goal. You see, so many of us are incredibly busy. We don’t have time for our goal. We think, “Yeah, that’s nice and all, but I don’t have time for it.”

I would push back and say, that is a lie. You do have time for it. You have time for Netflix and golf, and so many other things. The only difference is you make them a priority on your calendar. So do the same thing for your goal. Make it a priority, schedule it in. This is the only way you will ever accomplish your smaller goals and achieve your dream.

This might mean you have to cut some things out. But here is what I know, sometimes you have to say no to some good things, in order to say yes to a great thing. So practice saying no; practice telling yourself no.

I was able to run 2 miles, and even ran a 5K because I broke it down into smaller chunks. We were able to launch a healthy church because we broke it down into smaller, more attainable goals. You can do it too.

If you do this, you can accomplish your goal. So start today.

The Master Gardener Program requires interns to complete 50 hours of volunteer service within their first year. For some, this sounds like a lot of hours. For others, this is nothing. But this can be a challenge for anyone regardless if you work or are retired.

So break it down into chunks. “I have 12 months to get 50 hours in.” That means I need 4.17 hours a month, or 1 hour a week. When you look at it that way, it seems much easier to get your hours in.

Next, look at your calendar and decide what needs to go, in order to allow you to get the hours in. You know your schedule and what weeks have the potential to be busy, so schedule around them. Maybe schedule more hours during times of the year when things tend to slow down.

If you do this, the 50 hours will be much easier to attain, and not so daunting of a task.

A Gathering of Gardeners

It is finally here! No, not the presidential election, and not the iPhone 7. Its something you’ve wanted for the past four months. Something big and revolutionary. Alright, well maybe not that, but it is something to be excited about.

A Gathering of Gardeners-Secrest Master Gardeners!

Secrest Master Gardeners will gather on September 23, from 12:30-2 at the Secrest Arboretum Taylor Pavilion. The purpose of this gathering is to catch up, have some fun, and begin planning for next year. The Taylor Pavilion is located at the children’s garden. Please bring a snack to share.

Following the gathering is the Secrest Guided Autumn Walk (2-3:30). All are encouraged to participate in the walk.

Hope to see you there!