To broaden Clackamas County Master Gardeners’ community service by providing seed money for projects which further the use of plants as food, as tools for education, as benefits to the environment, and as a means to beautify the community.
About Gray and Norrene Thompson:
Gray Thompson was an OSU Extension Agent who helped start the OSU Master Gardener Program in Oregon. He volunteered countless hours teaching and speaking for the Master Gardener program.
Norrene Thompson became a Master Gardener after retiring from teaching. The Thompsons’ served as the “First Couple” of the Master Gardener program in Oregon. In 1995, Norrene and Gray were acknowledged as “An Honored Pair”, and in 2005, the pair were recognized as State Master Gardeners of the year.
The Clackamas County Master Gardeners named our community grant program the Gray and Norrene Thompson Community Projects Grant to honor their passion for education and service to the community.
Because of the COVID-19 situation applications have been suspended until our chapter is able to open up again. Please check back once things begin to return to normal.
Click here to email the committee with any questions, or call Laura Eyer or Nancy Hopkins.
The Clackamas County Master Gardener Community Projects Grant Committee has awarded the following grants since 2010
Mary S. Young Park in West Linn has had a Pollinator Garden since 2015. The $750 grant went toward redesigning the garden and to add flowering plants for the feeding of bees and butterflies. Sherry Sheng, sponsoring Master Gardener . Sherry has worked with the City of West Linn and SOLVE to develop a 5-year plan and to set up work parties to maintain the garden and community areas in the park. The chapter’s grant provided needed seed money to realize an idea. 2020 gave evidence of what we can do and 2021 will build on that success toward something lasting! Click here to see more about this worthwhile project.
To build on 2019’s Peace and Meditation Garden project, The Franciscan Spiritual Center added a community labyrinth for walking meditation. The $750 grant was used to purchase hedge plants along part of the labyrinth and to transplant some existing viburnum. Paul Baker, sponsoring Master Gardener
The John McLoughlin Elementary Green Team Habitat Project used part of the $492 grant to purchase supplies to maintain previous grant projects and to enhance a retaining wall area. They will use the remainder of the grant to purchase plants for this area when the students can be involved again. Shelley Hettman, sponsoring Master Gardener
The Milwaukie Historical Museum used the $174 grant to renovate seven hand-made wooden planters and to replace the soil and plants in the planters. Sally Yackley, sponsoring Master Gardener
An update on the 2019 Oak Grove Garden Club Gazebo Renovation Project…it’s completed! Diana Nelson, sponsoring Master Gardener
Bee Research—OSU Garden Ecology Lab will used the $500 grant to pay for bee identification by an expert as part of an ongoing bee research project. Many of the bee collection sites are in Clackamas County. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/gardenecologylab/garden-pollinators/
Sherry Sheng, sponsoring Master Gardener
The John McLoughlin Elementary Green Team Habitat Project involves bolstering the health of struggling trees near the school’s walking track. The $350 grant was used to purchase bark mulch, bird seed, wildflower seeds, a timer for watering and gardening gloves for the kids. Shelley Hettman, sponsoring Master Gardener
The John Inskeep Environmental Learning Center at Clackamas Community College has a focus on storm water management education. The $500 grant was used for compost, native plants, river rock and landscape plant labels to install a demonstration rain garden.
Laura Eyer, sponsoring Master Gardener
The Franciscan Spiritual Center created a Peace and Meditation Garden at the Center. The $500 grant went towards an irrigation system and plants for the Garden. Paul Baker, sponsoring Master Gardener
The Westmoreland Union Manor Community Garden provides fresh produce for the residents. The soil needed a compost addition. The $495 grant went towards purchasing compost and folding, stackable tomato cages. Nancy Muir, sponsoring Master Gardener
The Oak Grove Garden Club Gazebo Restoration Project features the central structure of the Risley Landing Gardens maintained by the Oak Grove Garden Club. The $500 grant was used to clean and restain the gazebo. Diana Nelson, sponsoring Master Gardener
Alder Creek Middle School Atrium Project develops a section of the courtyard garden to meet Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics targets and Next Generation Science Standards for all 7th grade students. The $500 grant will buy native plants, materials to build raised beds, lumber for bee houses, soil amendments, water meters and signage. Kris LaMar and Rob Kappa, sponsoring Master Gardeners.
John McLoughlin Elementary Green Team Habitat Project was started last year. The $315 grant will not only maintain that area, but it will also extend the natural habitat. They will purchase compost, native plants, seeds, bird seed and NWF plaque and gardening gloves for the kids. Shelley Hettman, sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Native Plant Garden Rehabilitation Project will renew a previously planted native plant garden at the Springwater Environmental Sciences School. They will use the $500 grant to purchase native plants, compost and mulch, and the students will put systems into place for maintenance. Kris LaMar, sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Cedaroak Interpretive Butterfly Garden will be established within the perimeter of the current school garden. The project will emphasize the importance of butterflies and other pollinators for plant pollination, habitat restoration and agricultural purposes. The $500 grant will purchase compost, soaker hoses, signage and plants know to attract butterflies. Louise Adams, sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Historic Rose Garden at the Oswego Heritage House and Museum Project used the $500 grant to purchase compost, a new gate and signage for the historic rose garden. Nancy Dunis, sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Leach Garden Friends Plant Label Project will use the $500 grant to purchase plant tags for the plant collection specimens in a new project area. The plant tags not only provide information to visitors, but they also locate plants that are sometimes not visible. Laura Eyer, sponsoring Master Gardener
Roots of Responsibility Garden Project for the Molalla River Academy emphasizes the multiple benefits of gardening. With the $500 grant, they will purchase a hood grow light, soil and amendments and native plants and seeds for their school garden. They host an annual “Roots of Responsibility Day” to share their produce. Iva Quinlan, sponsoring Master Gardener.
A total of six grants for $2233 were awarded this year.
The John McLoughlin Elementary Green Team Habitat Project in Oregon City reclaimed an area next to the school building from blackberries, thistles and clover. They used the $413 grant to purchase native plants, soaker hoses, a bird bath and hand tools. Shelley Hettman, sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Seeds for Sharing Garden at the Oak Lodge Library in Oak Grove requested a $220 grant to purchase additional soil for their 14 raised beds. They grow plants to harvest seeds for the seed library and school gardens. Laura Eyer, sponsoring Master Gardener.
The John McLoughlin Elementary Schoolyard Garden Project requested a $500 grant to purchase materials and compost for raised beds. The project will continue into the Fall and Spring. (John McLoughlin Elementary held a recognition assembly for Shelley and Frank. Over 200 students were involved in these two projects.) Frank Wille, sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Beavercreek Community Park Invasive Plant Removal and Control Project requested $500 to aid in the Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry removal. It will be a multi-year project to reintroduce native plants. Harry Wise, sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Rogerson Clematis Garden at Lusher Farm in Lake Oswego requested a $450 grant for reference books to help with the correct spelling and botanical nomenclature on the horticultural name labels for all plants in the garden. Martha Waldemar, sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Reusable Bag Project requested $150 to purchase fabric and supplies to make reusable bags to deliver produce from the Grow an Extra Row Giving and Learning Garden (GAER G&LG) at Clackamas Community College Campus community garden to the Food Pantry located at the First Presbyterian Church in Oregon City. Nancy Muir, sponsoring Master Gardener
A huge thank you to the Grant Committee Members…Laura, Carol and Bob…plus our advisor, Sherry!
View Acres Elementary School in Milwaukie has a large organic vegetable garden that teachers use for science and health education. The $404.28 grant will help purchase PVC pipe, plastic sheeting and fabric row covers to move up the harvesting time for students before they leave in June. The materials will also extend the growing season so more produce can be donated to the King of Kings Food Pantry. Rodger and Darlene Sanman, sponsoring Master Gardeners.
Schoolyard Farm has cultivated a one-acre vegetable farm at Candy Lane Elementary School, has produced food for their cafeteria, launched a farm-based summer camp program and has grown over 8,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables for the community. They are now setting up the second farm at New Urban High School in Oak Grove. The $500 grant will help purchase drip irrigation, seeds and tools.Rodger and Darlene Sanman, sponsoring Master Gardeners.
Friends of Iron Mountain continue planting native plants throughout Iron Mountain Park in Lake Oswego. They will use the $500 grant to purchase additional plants to go along 500 feet of trail to help protect the upland side from erosion. Last year, volunteers watered by hand with a water brigade every week for two months to protect the newly-planted natives in the 90 degree heat. Debbie Thomas, sponsoring Master Gardener.
Friends of Rogerson Clematis Collection have planted the remaining clematis in the collection in a new area called the Modern Garden in West Linn. They will use the $400 grant to purchase several varieties of strawberries with tags to plant as ground cover for the clematis. The loose matting habit of strawberries allows for clematis shoots to break through easily, but acts as an effective week barrier by shading the soil. Martha Waldemar, sponsoring Master Gardener.
Rounding the previous grant up to $500, the Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation received $376 to purchase additional blueberry bushes. The Committee had only $124 in the grant budget at the end of 2013.
The West Linn Community Garden requested $250 to buy weed barrier cloth to line the ground underneath the fence line. Weeds and grass were growing up into the fencing and they were difficult to remove and control. The cloth helped prevent invasives from growing and made weed removal easier. Nancy Hopkins, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
Campbell Community Garden in Milwaukee used $320 to buy compost for their existing garden plots and $180 to purchase lumber to build raised beds for blueberry bushes. Last year the Garden donated 2,000 pounds extra food to food pantries. Lisa Lashbrook, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Oak Grove Garden Club requested $500 to bring their park work room and bathroom wiring up to code. Seven new circuits were installed for the needed heat and light. Diana Nelson, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
Friends of Iron Mountain is a 10-year old restoration group devoted to returning native habitat to the open space parkland of Iron Mountain. Work parties remove ivy and other invasives. The $500 grant went to the purchase native species to replant in the newly-cleared areas. Debbie Thomas, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Garden of H.O.P.E (Helping Other People Eat) provides fresh produce for the Oregon Food Bank. The $500 grant went toward the purchase of a 1,400 square foot drip irrigation system for their raised beds. Ron Schlosser, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Hector Campbell Community Garden Project in Milwaukie purchased compost to amend the garden soil for $480. Last year, the gardeners grew 826 pounds of vegetables and herbs to give to Northwest Housing Alternatives low income housing tenants and Our House’s Esther’s Pantry. Lisa Lashbrook, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Growing Healthy Kids through Sustainable Gardening Project at the Molalla River Academy was awarded a $496 grant to build eight cedar wood raised beds and purchase polypropylene and a Yard Guard. This charter school will use the garden project to provide students and their families with the opportunity to gain hands on knowledge and experience about the multiple benefits of gardening. Dawn Morgan, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Open Grounds Community Garden used a $500 grant to build a 4’x8’ shed to store tools. This community garden is located in Milwaukie where many of the current gardeners live in apartments. The shed would not only be a secure place for the gardeners’ tools, but would house coolers for donated produce awaiting distribution. Lisa Lashbrook, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
In Damascus, many homes have shady or small yards and new apartments have been built in the area. There is a need for a Damascus Community Garden in a sunny location to provide a community connection where people could gather to garden. A $500 grant will be used for top soil and for signage for the community garden. Gretchen O’Brien, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
In Canby, there is an effort to reclaim a native plant area in the Canby Community Park. After a major clean-up project, the Canby Community Park Habitat Restoration Project used a $400 grant to buy two benches for the Native Plant Sanctuary Area and to install an identification sign at the entrance to the Sanctuary. Herlene Benson, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
At View Acres Elementary School, the waste composter had been shut down because water was leaking into it. A $500 grant will be used to construct a Green Roof over the composter to keep it dry and to allow it to function properly. This project will provide hands-on lessons on the benefits of composting and green roofs, as well as a gallery for student art. Darlene and Rodger Sanman, Sponsoring Master Gardeners.
Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation is an Oregon nonprofit established to develop and transform vegetable gardens inside Oregon Correctional Facilities. They train volunteers to garden with the inmates and provide classes on sustainable gardening. A $124 grant will be used to purchase blueberry bushes for the Columbia River Correction Institution.
Laura Eyer, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Hector Campbell Community Garden Project converted a portion of the Hector Campbell grade school grounds into a community garden. The garden project was awarded a $500 grant to purchase 2×6 cedar to edge the 32 new garden plots. Three of the plots grow produce for the food bank. Lisa Lashbrook, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Committee awarded the Ackerman Academy Landscaping Project a $500 grant to go toward gardening tools and native plants. The purpose of the landscaping project is to help at-risk students design and create a more environmentally-friendly landscape and contribute to the student career readiness. Grace Saad worked with Laura Eyer, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Hopkins Demonstration Garden installed a native plant garden with the help of Master Gardeners. The project received a $500 grant to go toward the irrigation system to maintain the plantings. Carol Koshkarian, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Friends of Brookside Native Plant Restoration Project in Lake Oswego was awarded $500 to purchase native plants. They continue to remove invasives from the Springbrook Creek riparian area and plant native species so they not only retain the stream bank, but discourage the introductions of other non-native plants. The Friends of Brookside will be responsible for maintaining the site. Debbie Thomas, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
Milo McIver State Park Native Plant Educational Area Project in Estacada was awarded a $500 grant to purchase native plants. Two planting areas offer park visitors an up-close look at a selection of Oregon native plants in their appropriate habitats. The plants will all be labeled as an educational tool to help visitors, especially children, learn about native plants. A ranger or camp host volunteer will be assigned to regularly weed and water the planted areas. Laura Eyer, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
Christ the Vine Community Food Shed Garden project was awarded $500 for seeds, fertilizers, soil supplements and additional soil. (However, when they received our grant money, they did use it to complete the water line instead. The labor to install the water line was donated.) This impressive garden on church property truly is a community garden for Damascus. It will feature a food production area to feed the community, two orchard areas, a children’s garden, a place for relaxation and reflection and a learning space. This is a multi-year project. John Rossetto, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church was awarded$500 to go toward building a storage shed project especially designed to make it easier for seniors to garden. Half their new community garden plots are tended by non-Church members and the excess produce will go to the food bank. Barbara Workman, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Oswego Heritage House project wasawarded $350 for soil amendments. They re-established an heirloom rose garden to educate about the plantings and various gardening techniques typical of 1920 when the Heritage House was built. They hope to encourage more children to visit and learn about gardening practices. Nancy Dunis, Sponsoring Master Gardener.
The Open Grounds Community Garden was awarded $500 to purchase raised bed materials. The garden will be on unused grounds of St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Milwaukie. One bed will be reserved for a nearby elementary school classroom, one or two beds will be for a local food bank and the rest of the 24 to 26 beds will be used for church and community members. Lisa Lashbrook, Sponsoring Master Gardener.