Master gardener is guest speaker for department’s opening meeting

WELCOME — Maralyn Ridgway, left, chairman of the garden department of the GFWC Weirton Woman’s Club, welcomed Ann Bailey, WVU Extension master garden, as guest speaker at the department’s opening meeting.

WEIRTON — The garden department of the GFWC Weirton Woman’s Club held its opening meeting at Giovanni’s Restaurant with Chairman Maralyn Ridgway presiding.

Teresa Conley gave the inspirational reading, “The Parable of the Growing Seed,” led in opening exercises and gave the blessing.

Lois Flemm, program chairman, introduced the guest speaker, Ann Bailey from the WVU Extension Service. Bailey is a master gardener and encouraged members to become one also.

She explained the classes to become one are held at the First Christian Church in Weirton and require 40 hours of instruction by WVU teachers. Master gardener classes are for the serious gardeners, she noted, and involves the science of gardening and botany. The premise of the class is education and volunteerism, Bailey pointed out, and the nature of the master gardener is to give back to the community.

Classes start in March and are held on Mondays for 12 consecutive weeks. Bailey explained some of the projects that master gardeners had done and some being planned for the future. She answered gardening questions from the members.

A brief business meeting was held following the guest speaker’s presentation. Reports were given by Ann Parsons, secretary, and Kay Mortimer, treasurer.

Patty Kaminski gave a conservation tip and reminded members to save their cereal boxes for the Northern District’s project. The cereal boxes are used to make beads and will help women in Haiti earn a living for their families.

Sharon Neeley gave a report on ecology. She spoke on the practice of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and discussed pesticides and weed killers. She suggested planting a tree as a department project.

Hospitality Chairman Lea Shirer reported 16 members and one guest attended the meeting. Flemm will serve as hostess for the October meeting to be held at Undo’s.

Barbara Raynolds, courtesy chairman, reported Sandy Robbins would do the inspiration for October. Judy Riter reported on happenings from the Pennsylvania Focus area. Ridgway gave a minute gardening tip.

Flemm and Kaminski won mums as door prizes.