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Master Gardeners of Western Wayne County

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Board Members
Contact Info
Board and Committee Descriptions
Award Winners
Past Presidents
Executive Board and Committee Members 2016-2017
Executive Board

Gary Oswell - My name is Gary Oswell, and I am the newly elected president of the Master Gardeners of Western Wayne County.  My experience as a gardener goes back to working in my backyard with my grandfather.  Suffice it say that was a few years ago.  My favorite gardening experiences have always been working with children.  I wanted to pass on what I learned to future generations.  Since my career choice was teaching, I was very fortunate to have several opportunities to garden with kids.  This is my favorite thing to do.  I joined the Master program to learn more about the world’s best hobby.  I was not disappointed.  There is always something new and exciting to learn from my fellow master gardeners.  My strongest gardening talent is composting.  I know that composting is the only way to maintain fertile soil for gardens while at the same time eliminating the use of fertilizer.  Fertilizer kills microorganisms in the ground water and causes pollution in the soil. And it is expensive too.  COMPOST IS FREE!!!!

I wish to thank you all for your votes of confidence.  The very talented Executive Board and I will see to it that the MGWWC is a superior Gardening club.

 Vice President
Terry Kamensky

Nancy Smith


Julie Wellman - Julie attended the Master Gardener class of 2013 with her husband Don. Since then she has volunteered at the Canton Farmers Market, Make a Senior Smile Day, Children's Garden & became a Peony Ambassador at the Nichols Arboretum. She wrote the Thank You letters for the 2015 MG Banquet and became an Advanced Master Gardener in 2015. Currently employed at Victory Automotive Group as an Administrative Analyst. She loves craft shows, reading, kayaking & to collect old license plates.


Master Gardener Coordinator

Deirdre Hope - Deirdre and her husband, Dennis Standiford, took the Master Gardener class in 2011 and became an Advanced Master Gardener in 2013. Among many other things, she has been involved with Suburban Shoots, coordinated the Master Gardener Information Booth at Canton Farmers Market, growing food for First Step, helped install a Butterfly Garden near the Canton Civic Center and updated an historic garden at the Canton's Preservation Park.

Committee Chairs

Help needed! Your name could be listed here. 


Dennis Standiford - Dennis and his wife Deirdre Hope took the Master Gardener class in 2011.

Greg Nowak - Before retiring in 2016, Greg worked for decades as a Human Resources Manager and Corporate Manager in manufacturing and technical center facilities of tier one automotive suppliers. His lifelong love of gardening began as a boy with planting lessons learned on his grandmother’s farm. Greg took the Master Gardener class in 2017 and became an Advanced Master Gardener the same year. His volunteer hours have included the Canton Farmer’s Market, Brenda’s Butterfly Habitat, Canton Hoop House Gardens and more. As a longtime fan of University of Michigan athletics and football season ticket holder, it’s never a surprise to see him wearing something maize and blue. 

Merchandise/Fundraising & Webmaster
Charisse Dore' Nilles - Charisse is currently working at Eastern Michigan University in the College of Health and Human Services Office of the Dean.  She took the Master Gardener class in the Fall of 2015 and earned most of her volunteer hours with the Junior Master Gardener program at Matthaei Botanical Gardens with the Master Gardeners of Washtenaw County.  Charisse enjoys gardening, ceramics reading, and computers. 

Angela Lowry - Angela currently teaches American Sign Language (ASL) at the high school level. Since 2000 she also works part time at Greenfield Village as a historical presenter with heirloom ways of gardening and farming methods. Angela took the Master Gardner class in the Fall of 2013, and volunteered hours with the Children's garden. Angela has also helped out the Board with Scholarships and a grant writing class in 2015. On her downtime,she enjoys curling up with a book and a cup of tea or puttering around in her garden, hiking, camping and baking. Angela has very fond memories of helping her grandparents in their garden so her love of growing her own food started young.
VMS Coordinator
Pat Johnson - Master Gardener Class 2013-F, Offered assistance with computer issues while still in class. Was drafted into VMS Ambassador and have been doing it
continuously since June of 2014. He was a past member of SEMBA, MGAWC and MGWWC. Pat volunteers with the Canton Farmers Market in the summer and enjoys his self-watering container tomatoes.