Scion – December 2019

Volume 29, Issue 12 – December 2019


Monarch Butterfly pin

Congratulations to this month’s Bexar County Master Gardeners who have earned their 2019 certification and the Monarch Butterfly pin! They have completed at least 30 volunteer hours, 6 CEU hours, and attended 2 regular monthly meetings as of November 26 reporting.

The pins are available from Susan Noonan at the monthly meetings or can be picked up at the Master Gardener office during the Office Manager business hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For other delivery options, please contact The complete year-to-date list of certified Master Gardeners can be found on our website under Members/Master Gardener Stars.


Sarah Akeroyd  Nancy Alford  Lucille Almaguer   Dwight Barrett 
 Paul Bauml   Liana Benavides   Patricia Brown   Marin Rose Chu

 Jane M. Cobb   Karen Dawson   Karen Gardner   Holly Gilmore
 Wilson Grant  Sandra Patricia Hernandez-Lascurain  Kitty Hommer
 Barbara Lamm   Karen Ann Lhota   Veronica Long   Peggy (Margaret) Love
 Ruben Lozano   Linda Maldonado   Mary Newsom   Oralia – Layla Quiroz
 Debra Reasor   Joshua Richards  Ernest Rubio   Michael Sroczynski
 Jim Strong   Pamela Taylor-Fryer   Wendy J. Thornton   Pat L. Tiner
 Judy Warren   Mary Wills


BCMG Offices will be closed Dec 24 and 25 for Christmas


BCMG BOARD MEETING will take place 1 – 3 pm on Dec 12 , 2019 at 3355 Cherry Ridge 78230. If you are interested in placing items on the agenda, email  President Grace Emery  by 5 working days before the meeting.  And, all members are welcome to observe the meetings; however, in order to accommodate seating, please email Grace that you will be attending.

Congratulations to our very own David Rodriguez for having been selected to receive a 2019 Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Extension County Agent.

The Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence is the highest employee award given by Texas A&M AgriLife!

We are also excited to announce that Ruby Zavala, Youth Gardens Coordinator, has been selected as recipients of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Superior Service Award.
We are also excited to announce that Angelica Gutierrez, County Extension Agent-Family and Community Health  has been selected as recipients of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Superior Service Award.

These awards are the highest honor conferred by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to faculty and staff who have excelled in their job performance. 

2019 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Reintroduction of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker

December 6 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

Note: on December 6, the link to the live webinar, in the title below, opens about 15 minutes before the webinar.  If you try to log in earlier, you will get an error message.  The URL is subject to change.   Please click on the title prior to the start time in order to get the correct URL. 2019 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Reintroduction of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker December 6, 2019     Find out more »

Rain to Drain Experience — SAWS

December 7 @ 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. San Antonio Water System Headquaters, 2800 U.S. 281, San Antonio, TX 78212 

If you’re interested in learning more about the source of your drinking water and where it goes, well, “after the flush,” join SAWS Education for The Rain to Drain Experience field trip for adults.  During this day-long expedition, you will explore an Edwards Aquifer recharge cave, experience the inner workings of a SAWS water production facility, and tour a water recycling plant.  The field trip, lasting from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, is free to Bexar County residents 18 years and older.  Lunch is provided.  Find out more »

Holiday Gifts From Your Kitchen — Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard

December 7 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, 25195 Mathis Road, Elmendorf, TX 78112 

This is a hands-on workshop showing a number of gift ideas we have explored in some of our other workshops:   Making Refrigerator Pickled Tomatoes, Easy Oven Tomato Sauce, Vinaigrettes, Rustic Bread, and Pickled Fruit. Fee:  $15, with a gift to take home. Find out more »

Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Holiday Plant Gift Ideas

December 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Bexar County Master Gardeners, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Ste. 208, San Antonio, TX 78230 

FREE and open to the public!  Bring your lunch and join us! Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 2019 Brown Bag Lunch & Learn programs will be conducted the 2nd Friday of each month, 12:00 Noon – 1:00 PM, at the Bexar County Extension Office (3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208).  The sessions will provide information on consumer horticulture. Today’s Topic:  Holiday Plant Gift Ideas Speaker:  Stephanie Jones, Bexar County Master Gardener 1 CEU.  BCMG Code: 001. Find out more »

Caring For & Maintaining Your Holiday Treasures / Getting Your Yard & Landscaping Ready for 2020 — GVST Gardening Essentials Classes

December 16 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm. San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N New Braunfels Ave, San Antonio, TX 78209 

GVST Gardening Essentials Classes are free and open to the public, although a $5 donation is appreciated.  No pre-registration is required.  Tool sharpening is also available ($3 donation appreciated). Session 1:  12:15 – 1:15 PM  (1 CEU) Topic:  How to Properly Care For and Maintain Your Holiday Treasures Speaker:  Claudette Rogers, Milberger’s Landscaping and Nursery. Session 2:  1:30 – 2:30 PM  (1 CEU) Topic:  2019 Is Almost Gone — What You Should Do to Get Ready in Your Yard, Beds, & Landscaping for 2020. Speaker:  David Rodriguez, Bexar County Extension Agent – Horticulture.  Find out more »

Explore the Canyon

December 21 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. Government Canyon State Natural Area, 12861 Galm Road, San Antonio, TX 78254 

Join us on the third Saturday of each month for a new adventure! Knowledgeable guides discuss the flora, fauna, natural and cultural history of this awesome natural area on this exploration.  Length of hike and interpretive topic will vary, depending on the group.  Open to all ages; minors must be accompanied by an adult; group size limited to the first 12 people; no pets please. Find out more

This is just a sampling of the events scheduled for December, as there were way too many to list here. Please check the Calendar for a list of all the events! Click here for calendar.

The San Antonio Botanical Garden (SABOT) has lots of educational programs available to members and non-members. To see a calendar of their activities, click here.


You can now earn 1 CEU of the minimum 6 CEUs required for Master Gardener re-certification by listening to at least 1 archived podcast of
WOAI 1200 AM Lawn & Garden Show.
All of the Saturday morning episodes are available. You will surely find a topic that meets your knowledge needs! And they are fun! Listen on your phone while you drive.
Or you can earn 1 CEU (of the minimum 6 required CEUs) by listening to a LIVE radio broadcast of the WOAI 1200 AM Lawn and Garden
from 7 am-10 am on a Saturday morning.  You can only record 1 CEU per year using the radio broadcast option!   VMS CEU Code 001

And remember, you can find all the TEXAS MASTER GARDENER ADVANCED TRAINING (formerly Specialist)  COURSES offered at the TMGA website.  If you are interested in attending any courses, please email David Rodriguez (, Extension Agent-Horticulture, Bexar County. BCMG CEU Code: 001. 

See the BCMG Calendar for MORE learning opportunities this month! (Click HERE!)


It’s EASY to Volunteer!

  • To sign up as a volunteer, go to your VMS – Volunteer Management System, log in and click on GENERAL EVENT CALENDAR from the left column.
  • To record your CEUs or volunteer hours, click on ADD NEW HOURS from the left column.

If you need help learning how to use VMS or have a question, contact Lisa Nixon, 

Volunteers are still needed to unload Poinsettias and for the plant sales / pickups on Friday, December 6. Sign up in VMS and get those last few hours you need for the year!

Bexar County Master Gardener Poinsettia Sale!

Place your orders by Dec 2, 2019.
Pick up your order on Dec 6, 2019 from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Choices of 4 -inch pots or 6 1/2- inch pots in a variety of colors.
Order them online at : or print the mail in form.

If you have not volunteered recently, please pick a date, or dates, and sign up on VMS today. 
  – December shifts are 10 am to 1 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
VMS has all dates/times for sign-ups! VMS Code 0100. 
Please come and use your training, and at the same time strengthen our partnership with the San Antonio Botanical Garden.  And have some FUN, too!!  Email Grace Emery if you have any questions. 

Culinary Docent Training at the San Antonio Botanical Garden on Tuesday, December 10, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sign up on VMS Culinary Docent Training at the volunteer office. just to the right of entry kiosk and wear your badge. The door is marked private. Rain or shine. Please sign up on VMS – limited to 10.

All Master Gardeners: Please see new Clarification on Reporting Volunteer Hours below. Note there are some important changes that affect you!

Clarification on Reporting Volunteer and Continuing Education Hours

Our purpose as a Master Gardener is to provide home gardeners with unbiased, research-based gardening information that is locally relevant. We want them to be successful in their gardening endeavors so they can love their gardening experience as much as we love ours!. However, some responsibilities also come with being a Master Gardener. Such responsibilities include reporting our hours in a timely and accurate manner.

Reporting our volunteer hours is important, as they are used for two purposes:

  • Certification – In order to be certified as a MG in good standing for the next year, a BCMG member must volunteer 30 hours (VH), receive 6 hours of continuing education (CEU), and attend two BCMG monthly meetings. By recording your hours, the Membership Director can generate a list of the MGs who have reached these milestones for David to certify for the next year.
  • Funding – Our hours of service (VH) are reported to the state and all funding organizations as part of the AgriLife Extension Service reports on services and activities provided within our county. The accuracy of these hours is extremely important when providing these funding organizations with our outputs. Our hours are often converted to FTEs (Full Time Employees) to show the work we do in terms of what a paid employee would accomplish.

In order for all BCMGs to report their hours in a manner that is appropriate for the AgriLife Extension reports, the BCMG Board has approved the following clarification points to use when reporting hours:

  • Report hours as soon as possible! – Hours that are not reported until the end of the year are often forgotten. In addition, those hours were not available for the AgriLife Extension reports that go out earlier in the year and therefore provided no support documentation for the work that we do.
  • Travel time should not be reported as volunteer time. While it is understood that the time you spend traveling to and from events is very real time (and it is greatly appreciated!), it is not considered appropriate volunteer time in the reports that are generated showing our equivalent FTEs. A full-time employee’s travel time is not included and therefore it should not be included in ours.
  • No double dipping. If you are volunteering at a presentation that qualifies for CEUs you may count the time as either VHs or CEUs, but not both. For example, if you spend 30 minutes helping to set-up, handle sign-in sheets, and take-down for a 60-minute presentation, you may count it as 0.5 VHs plus 1 CEU (two separate entrees in VMS) or you may count it is 1.5 VHs.
  • Use accurate hours. While VH and CEU times may be posted for an event, this is just to give you an idea of the time that is anticipated. Oftentimes, an event takes more or less time than this estimate. Please report the actual time you volunteered or that the CEU presentation took.
  • Record your hours to the nearest ½ hour. Sometimes this means you are recording a few minutes extra and sometimes a few minutes less, but in the course of a year it will all average out.

Please use these guidelines moving forward. Thank you for the service you provide Bexar County, home gardeners! And thank you for your support of the Master Gardener Program and AgriLife Extension through the accurate reporting of your hours!

NOTE : Any MG that is not going to make their required volunteer and/or CEU hours, and wants to continue their active MG status for 2020, needs to contact David early with an explanation of why they are not going to make their hours and a summary of the hours they have submitted to VMS for this year.

Submitted by

Lynn Cox, BCMG Vice President


MORE Volunteer Opportunities available on the VMS Calendar!



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