Newsletters 1987-1989

The first CMGA Newsletter was Vol I Number 1 dated November 1987, published shortly after CMGA was formed. The association was then known as The Connecticut Association of Extension Master Gardeners and dues were $5. CAEMG met four times per year, at "all four areas of the State" (Haddam, Norwich, New Haven and Bethel). There was no logo, therefore the newsletter was not yet named "The Laurel." The newsletters were typed (not on a computer!), sometimes retyped, and pasted up in newsletter format before being copied.

A map and directions to the Extension Center where the meeting was to be held was included in each newsletter (no widespread Internet usage or even indexing to find maps!). Each evening meeting had a social half hour (bring cookies!) and a speaker. Enjoy the trip down memory lane!


A sunflower design was used as the logo until a laurel design was adopted (by 9 membership votes) in early 1989 (a revote was taken at the next meeting and a majority agreed to the new design). Members were involved in "one community project" (The Hole in The Wall Gang Camp) but that project was dissolved when the new director at the camp wanted CMGA to be groundskeepers rather than educators.

There were no elected board members, only elected officers (called the Executive Board); the entire membership voted on everything at the quarterly meetings. Our long association with Elizabeth Park began when we held one of the quarterly meetings at the Pond House and had a rose tour (June 13 1989).

The Extension Centers were organized into 3 districts (there were 3 MG Coordinators) and CAEMG decided to break into smaller groups at the end of 1989 as well. The 4 annual membership meetings had been attended by 25-45 people (with membership at 200) and it was felt that there would be more participation if there were smaller, local groups. The membership would continue to meet statewide twice per year (this was the genesis of the semi annual and annual meetings).

The DEP funded a Master Composter course in 1988. Advanced Master Gardener classes started in the fall of 1989 (though these "fizzled" and were restarted years later).

NOTE: The Master Gardener Program started in Seattle in 1972.