Belinda Laughlin, Director, Finance Committee
HOMETOWN: Mt. Pleasant, MI
Ike Pangle, Director
PROFESSION/OCCUPATION: Computer Hardware and Software Engineer [retired]
LOCAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION: Michigan Master Gardeners of St. Joseph County
HOBBIES: Fundraising bicycle rides for MS and Make-A-Wish, riding my Spyder Motorcycle, community service
FAVORITE TRAVEL LOCATION: Somewhere warm in the winter, any good road bicycling venue
FAVORITE DRINK: Cold water and cold dark beer
WHAT I LIKE TO GROW: Native plants and anything that can take care of itself
WHY I GARDEN: Habitat and enjoyment for my wild friends (human and otherwise)
Jan Rise, Finance Committee Chair
HOMETOWN: Bay City, MI
PROFESSION/OCCUPATION: Retired - Licensed Independent Insurance Agent
HOBBIES: Playing Golf, travel (with husband) and camping around Michigan
FAVORITE TRAVEL LOCATION: Working my way around the U.S.
FAVORITE DRINK: Coca Cola
WHAT I LIKE TO GROW: My personal garden is a wildlife habitat garden including an ornamental fish pond. Native woody ornamentals, herbaceous plants, trees and bulbs for a four season garden. I also grow herbs, asparagus, tomatoes, apples and rhubarb. All on a city lot.
WHY I GARDEN: My earliest garden memories are from my mother and grandmother. Both of my families were historically farmers, growing much of the food they consumed. I was born on a milk farm in Marshall, Michigan. Early on in my life we moved to a more urban home, but still continued to grow a vegetable garden and had a pear orchard.
My mother planted Dahlias for many years from my earliest memories. It was always fun to get the tubers out in the spring to weed out the good ones for that year’s planting. I remember when quite young my mother putting in the vegetable garden with my “help.” I guess I was born with a passion for gardening and an appreciation for all plants, food or ornamental. I enjoying sharing my gardening passion with others and sharing my garden knowledge. My favorite part of gardening is when I sit in my garden relaxing and enjoying time there.
Ruth Steele Walker, Director, Communications Committtee
HOMETOWN: Omena, MI
PROFESSION/OCCUPATION: Marketing Communications Consultant. I retired as Advertising Manager of Farmers Insurance Company and promptly flunked retirement.
LOCAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION: Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan
HOBBIES: Reading murder mysteries and thrillers, walking our four year old lab Brit, sewing, knitting and stomping out invasives -- both native and non-native like Tree of Heaven and Sumac.
FAVORITE TRAVEL LOCATION: Australia
FAVORITE DRINK: Wine, water and coffeee
WHAT I LIKE TO GROW: Perennials - native and adaptable. I love color in my garden and lots of blooms at all seasons! I also love to grow culinary herbs and occasionally try my hand at topiary and bonsai.
WHY I GARDEN: It's part of my heritage. My farmer father grew fruit - cherries, apples and prunes while my city-born and bred mother mowed about an acre of orchard grass for lawn and surrounded that with seven flower beds and her "naturalized garden" which would be called a native garden today.
Diana Zeimen, Director
HOMETOWN: Mikado, MI
Formed in early 2012, the Michigan Master Gardener Association is dedicated to supporting the volunteer and social efforts that have been part of the Michigan Master Gardener Program since its inception. We also offer an array of benefits to master gardener volunteers.
Just fill out an events form. Be sure to put the word EVENTS in the subject line. The best way to reach us is by using our online events form. Click here to go directly to that page. Once you've filled out the online form it goes directly to our events email. If you choose you can download form by clicking on this link. With this method you'll need to print and fill out the form, scan it and then email it back to us.
We'd like to hear about it. Please fill out our Spotlight Form and tell us what's going on in YOUR county. We'll follow up with you for more information and photos, and then we'll get the word out to our members. This is a great way to share your success, and an easy way to share great ideas with other Master Gardener groups.