When viewers tune in to the popular television program Oklahoma Gardening Aug. 18, they will not only see host Steve Owens, but also a new face.

Kimberly Rebek, along with Owens, will be doing an official “hand-off” show together on that date and Rebek will take over solo hosting Aug. 25. Owens has hosted the program since 2001.

Rebek said she is excited about this new career opportunity.

“I see this position as a job I will look forward to each morning. One of the more appealing aspects of this position is that it demands I constantly learn and experiment with new gardening concepts and techniques to share with my audience,” she said. “While it will be challenging to continually produce fresh ideas, this will also be a source of enjoyment.”

Dale Maronek, head of the department of horticulture and landscape architecture at Oklahoma State University, said Rebek will have a positive impact on Oklahoma Gardening.

“Kim is a talented and creative individual with a lot of great ideas for the show. Her horticulture and entomology background will be great assets,” Maronek said. “She has worked in a variety of consumer horticulture related programs and activities over the years and I look forward to her building upon these experiences to enrich OKG programming.”

Since being hired as the new host, Rebek said she is constantly running new programming ideas through her head.

“Many gardeners don’t have a lot of time to spend in the garden. I would like to introduce ideas for small projects that will appeal to these gardeners, such as culinary-themed kitchen gardens,” Rebek said. “I also plan to address plant problems on a regular basis. In my experience, this is an area of need for many gardeners.”

She also has plans to expand the Oklahoma Gardening Web site to provide even greater resources for viewers. During the past three years in her work with the Michigan Master Gardener Volunteer Program, she has been involved with educating gardeners in all areas of consumer horticulture and learned a great deal about the wants and needs of gardeners.

“Each new host over the years has always added his or her own style and creativity to the show,” Maronek said. “I think Kim will fit in very well with the rest of our consumer horticulture team and bring a variety of new ideas to the show. Viewers should stay tuned to see what is coming in the future.”

Rebek comes to OSU from Michigan State University where she held the position of professional aide to the state coordinator of the Michigan Master Gardener Volunteer Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin and her master’s degree in entomology from Purdue University.

“There will be many expectations to handle as I enter into this position, from viewers and those involved with the development of Oklahoma Gardening,” Rebek said. “My challenge will be to balance these expectations while introducing my own ideas for the show. Oklahoma Gardening is an incredibly unique program and I’m excited for this opportunity.”

Currently in its 32nd year, Oklahoma Gardening got its start in 1975 when the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority joined forces with the OSU Cooperative Extension Service to host a 30-minute gardening program. It has since been one of OETA’s top-rated shows. The program airs Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. on your local OETA television station.

This Week's Circulars