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Spotlight on . . . Janet Kirklen, Collin County Master Gardener and Webmaster

Janet Kirken

Spotlight On: Janet Kirklen

By Dawn Bluemel Oldfield, Public Relations Chairperson

1. Why did you become a Master Gardener? When?

A graduate of the Class of 2006, Janet says, “Becoming a Master Gardener is something I’ve always wanted to do.  I grew up in Corpus Christi and a neighbor was one of the first Master Gardeners, and a wonderful gardener, too. He made a big impression on me. I was also inspired by my Grandfather, who had a huge garden and it was fun to help him pick things. My Dad enlisted me to pull weeds from an early age.  I’ve always enjoyed that it makes everything nice and tidy. I went to Texas A&M studying computer science.  Between classes I’d walk past the greenhouses where they’d have plants out on carts you could buy for a quarter.  I could never resist! “ 

2. What is your role with CCMGA?

I am the Project Lead for the CCMGA website and on the Communications Team. I do most anything website related – this includes our public website and our Admin Portal.  

3. What is the best part of your “job” with CCMGA?

I love getting to interface with so many Master Gardeners and their projects!  I help with leadership transitions at the beginning of the year and help onboard new students to our Admin Portal. 2020 was a challenge in so many ways for everyone, but we found some new ways to do things remotely and automated the MG Training Application process for this year’s class.  Part of my job is to make everyone else’s job easier. I monitor things on the website and help or trouble shoot and find ways to simplify things.  My role is a lot of ongoing support.

4. What do you love most about CCMGA?

Hands down it’s the people!  We have the best group of people.  They’re not just knowledgeable, but great, inspiring individuals. 

5. How does your role support CCMGA?

I try to find ways to use technology to make things easier for our members. To save time and cut down on errors and duplication. And, to help our project leads get the word out about their projects and events.

6. You mostly work behind the scenes, but when you don’t where are we most likely to find you volunteering at a public event/workshop, etc?

Sadly, it’s almost always behind the scenes and I hate that.  But, when I do have the opportunity to volunteer in person you’ll probably find me at one of our plant sales or at The Garden Show.  I really enjoy them.

7. What advice would you give to anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener?

Just do it! If you love gardening or are even interested in it, you’re going to love CCMGA! It’s all about being with people with a shared interest, learning from each other, and passing your knowledge along to our community.  I’ve made some wonderful friendships at CCMGA

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