SWIMGA Volunteer Opportunities


Judging at Knox County Fair

The Purdue Extension-Knox County is in need of a judge for our garden, melons, potatoes, tomatoes and bee keeping projects.  We would like to ask you if you would be our judge for these projects.  The judging will take place on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at the Knox County Fair Grounds at 8:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m.  We will compensate you mileage.  Please let me know as soon as you can if you can or cannot judge for us.  We look forward to hearing back from you.  Thank you.

Kim King
Purdue Extension-Knox County
Office Manager
4259 N Purdue Rd
Vincennes, IN  47591
Phone:  (812) 882-3509
Email:  king286@purdue.edu

Vanderburgh County Fair

Larry Caplan still needs people to staff the front gate at our fair.  The shifts are:  8-12, and 12-3.  The days he still needs workers for are:

·       Tuesday, 7/25
·       Thursday, 7/27
·       Saturday, 7/29

Working the front gate is easy!  Either sell someone a pass to get in, or check their pass and let them in.  That’s about it!  Of course, you get to talk about plants with your fellow MGs. 

If you want an indoor job, monitoring the displays in the buildings, please call his office and speak to a secretary.


 Insect Appreciation Demo at cMoe

On the chance that Larry Caplan is out of town, he need someone to do an Insect Appreciation program for the Children’s Museum of Evansville (cMoe) on the morning of Monday, July 24.  They are looking for about a 30 minute hands-on demonstration for their summer camp.  The children are pre-school age, so they’re not looking for a technical talk!

Larry has lots of mounted and preserved insects and insect-relatives that he can loan you to do this program. He also have some live (very) Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, which the kids love and the adults hate.

Please contact Larry ASAP to sign up. 


Caze Elementary School Garden

Pam Costello and her team at Caze Elementary School won a Shir­ley James “Greening the Community” Award at the 22nd annual Celebration of Leadership Award ceremonies.  Would you like to be a member of this fantastic garden?  Over the last 5 years, Pam and volunteers have cleaned up the courtyard and installed a greenhouse; created hardscape; secured funding; and started an education program for the children that invites their creativity, imagination, and introduces them to the wonders of gardening.  For example, the children planted nectar and host plants; grew butterflies; then let them loose to dine and procreate.

What’s next?  That is up to the SWIMGA volunteers with direction from Principal Turney.  Many of you have worked in education.  We need your help.  If you have time during school hours and are interested in volunteering at SWIMGA’s Caze School day garden program, please contact Pam Costello or Rita Wedig. 

NEIGHBORHOODS: Where Life Happens is the theme for the 2017 Regional Neighborhood Network Conference (RNNC), co-hosted by the City of Evansville’s Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) and United Neighborhoods of Evansville (UNOE).  The 2017 RNNC is a three‐day event that runs from October 5th – 7th, 2017.  The RNNC is a cooperative network of 20+ Midwestern cities and 5 States; Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The RNNC is a place where community leaders, neighborhood volunteers, corporations, local government agencies, philanthropists, real estate developers and businesses gather to exchange information with one another in order to gain valuable ideas to take back and help improve or transform their own communities. The RNNC features a wide variety of workshops about state of the art approaches to neighborhood improvements, area redevelopments, crime, safety, and public & private investments.  In addition to these informative workshops, the RNNC is a great opportunity to network with your neighboring peers from other States and enjoy Evansville’s great food and entertainment!

They are requesting Master Gardeners who would like to hold a workshop to contact Larry Caplan for the brochure or download www.rnnc2017.com/workshops

Some of the topics that could be discussed include:

      • Setting up community gardens; teaching neighbors to feed themselves and each other.
      • Getting youth involved in gardening and hands-on environmental education.
      • Local Food Networks; how to best use local farmers’ markets (and how to start a farmer’s market).
      • Various food safety, nutrition programs, including diabetes workshops, heart-healthy workshops, etc.
      • Trees: Adding beauty and shade to your neighborhood; pests of trees; Is this tree a hazard?
      • Various gardening concepts: pest control with and without pesticides; soil preparation; gardens for native pollinators.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Partners Program and Indiana DNR are participating in a grant that the Pollinator Partnership received to create habitat for monarchs and other pollinators called Monarch Wings Across the Eastern Broadleaf Forest. This effort is focused on the Eastern Broadleaf Forest ecoregion across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas. The two year plan will serve to implement a goal of 4,688 acres of monarch habitat across the 5 states. Initially, 12 volunteer seed collection teams per state will be organized and receive training in the spring of 2017 on how to correctly identify select forb species and properly collect the seed. We have a finalized plant collection list that includes native forbs that cover all of the bloom periods. The collected seed will then be processed, cleaned, tested and then made available across the 5 states to be planted in 2018.

Right now we are starting to get the word out and reach out to find interested volunteers to collect seed. If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating, please email Amber Barnes at ab@pollinator.org to be put on the volunteer list. Once we have an idea where volunteers are located, we will set up convenient training locations and provide further information. Feel free to distribute this information and the flyer below to anyone who you think may be interested!