Coconino Master Gardener Association

Another beautiful photo from Cindy Murray. A rufus hummingbird enjoying a "Blue Fortune" Agastache. This hyssop perennial plant is a great pollinator choice for your garden.

Welcome to the Coconino County Master Gardeners' Association Blog. The mission of the Coconino Master Gardener Program is to support the University of Arizona by providing researched-based information on environmentally responsible gardening and landscaping to the public.
The program creates a corps of well-informed volunteers, and delivers quality horticultural education programs adapted to our regional high elevation environment. The mission of the association is to provide support for those volunteers and Master Gardener graduates, continuing education, and opportunities to participate in community programs that increase the visibility and participation in the Master Gardener Program.
On this site you will find gardening news, links, a calendar for local events, volunteer opportunities, book reviews, agenda/minutes for our association monthly meetings, and association documents and contacts.
The Coconino County Master Gardener Association was founded in 2009 by a small group of master gardeners with the help of Hattie Braun the Director of the MG Program. After several small meetings it was opened to all master gardeners on May 21st, 2009. Meetings are held monthly on the 2rd Thursday of each month from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. We meet at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (1601 N. San Francisco). The agenda usually includes continuing education and a short business meeting. Watch this blog for the agenda and minutes for all meetings. Contacts for the association (officers and committee chairs) are listed at the bottom of this blog.

Reporting Master Gardener Hours

All master gardener trainees and certified master gardeners need to report their hours.
Beginning in 2010 certified master gardeners need to have 6 Education hours and 12 Volunteer hours in order to maintain certification.The on line reporting system allows you to report Education or Volunteer hours.
If you have any questions or concerns about the new reporting system, please contact Crys Wells or Hattie Braun. Their contacts are listed at the bottom of the blog under
Link to reporting

Ideas for hours------
--Attend monthly meetings
--Work on an association committee
--Work at an informational booth for the Master Gardeners
--Be a speaker about gardening topics at a variety of venues

--Host a garden tour
--Work at the home show
--Work at a MG site (Olivia White Hospice, the Arboretum, Riordan Mansion, or school gardens (many others)). Check out the Assoc. Doc. & Forms under Volunteer Sites.
--Work in the Extension office
--Write an article for the newspaper column -Gardening Excetera
-Volunteer with the Seed Library
Be creative! There are many ways to fulfill your hours. Just remember for volunteering it needs to be a non-profit endeavor or an approved for profit site.

Change in Contact Information

Have you moved or changed your e-mail address, but would still like to be contacted about high elevation gardening information from the Extension? The Coconino County Extension Master Gardener Program has a site that will let you change your information on-line.

Click here to change your contact information!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Olivia White Hospice Garden Volunteers in 2018

One of the many beautiful roses that Carol Chicci cares for at the Olivia White Hospice Garden.

Morden Sunrise Rose - photo by Crys Wells
Work continues by the city on the circle drive on Turquise and Switzer Canyon on the south end of the garden property. The volunteers have worked around it and have had to move  a memorial garden (Michael Moore) and many plants and trees, but the rest of the garden remains beautiful. Here is a note from Crys Wells on the happenings this year.

What a busy, wonderful gardening season we’ve had!  We’ve survived drought, heat, rain, deer foraging, construction work, and mosquitoes!  Not exactly the 10 Plagues, but enough for one group of gardeners!
This week continued with dead-heading and weeding. We’ve purchased a maple tree to replace Dana’s tree that was damaged (killed?) in the move due to construction.  We are hoping to get it planted in the next couple of weeks.  The roses, once the deer found something else to nosh on, have been lovely!  Even the Harrison’s Yellow Rose that had to be moved (due to construction!) is doing well under Carol’s loving care.  We have been able to utilize LOTS of beautiful, rich mulch that Pam and Frank have nurtured so diligently.  Joe has been actively pruning trees to make them healthier AND more beautiful.  Becky keeps us stocked in hummingbird nectar and Jackie and Sirena tirelessly fill bird feeders most every week; Sirena also helped with seed collection this week. Judith worked on the Rock Garden this week, loving planting a few new items.  Kay’s work in the north gardens is worth an out-of-the way visit if you don’t get to that area much.  The apples are ripening (and some will be unscathed thanks to the sock that Ashley placed on them weeks ago!) and we’ve got LOADS of grapes (seedy but sweet and wonderful) this year.  We snacked on a few on Thursday, but are still waiting for some of the smaller ones to ripen a bit more.  We should be able to take quite a bit of fruit into the house for the residents as it looks like we’ll have some raspberries coming in a bit also.  Suzanna has kept the front of the house looking good, including the flower pots that brighten the entrance.  We’ve been taking turns loving on Linda’s Fairy Garden, which awaits her return.  In the coming weeks, we will need to be dead-heading lavender and cutting back iris (Katarina is away, so we’ll be tending to these this year.)  I haven’t seen Ashley, Judy, Cindy, or Ed in a while, although I’ve heard from Ed.  I hope all are doing well.  Also hoping that we’ll see Vic and Carol at the potluck and that Carol is healed and getting stronger!  It was great to have Loni in the garden in the early weeks…we’ll hope to see her at the potluck.

Just a note from me.....This garden was created by master gardeners and has been a project for about 15 years. They have received several grants from the CMGA. Thanks to all who have helped to make it beautiful for the residents and families.

Master Gardener Picnic

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tour De Coop

Do you love your chickens and have a coop that you are proud of? Flagstaff Foodlink is looking for three coops to fill in the Tour De Coop on Saturday October 6th. This is a fun family event that is open to the community where people can bike or drive between the Coops on the tour. Be ready to see some eccentric costumes lively faces. The tour works much like the Garden Tours where people will be touring from 9am-11:30am.

If you would like to be a part of this fun event and show off your chicken coop to the community please contact Brooke Freeman at or Liz Krug at
Hattie Braun
County Director
Assistant in Extension
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Coconino Cooperative Extension
University of Arizona
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004

Phone: (928)773-6118
Fax: (928)774-1860

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Coconino County Parks & Recreation Master Plan

Hello colleague,
The Coconino County Parks and Recreation Department is conducting a county-wide parks and recreation master plan.  The purpose of the master plan is to:
  1. Identify existing conditions relative to parks and recreation throughout the County.
  2. Understand the County’s parks and recreation related needs.
  3. Identify existing and future resources throughout the County that may address parks and recreation needs.
  4. Identify how Coconino County Parks and Recreation can help facilitate the fulfillment of County parks and recreation needs.
Our goal is to reach every community in order to understand their unique conditions and needs.  To this end, we have several public input meetings scheduled in Flagstaff (see attached flyer for dates, times and locations) and we hope you are able to attend one of them.  We also ask that you share this information and the flyer with individuals or distribution lists of people you think would be interested in providing input into the master plan.
Thanking you in advance for your participation and support. 
Cynthia Nemeth-Briehn, CPRP
Coconino County Parks & Recreation Director
2446 Fort Tuthill Loop
Flagstaff, AZ  86005
Phone:  928.679.8004
Fax:  928.774.2572

Follow this Link for a flyer on times and dates for the meetings

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Fall Into Gardening Workshop

Coconino Master Gardeners –

Registration for our  October 20th “Fall into Gardening” day of Continuing Education for Coconino and Yavapai Master Gardeners is now open.  The registration information is attached.  When you register you only need to select your lunch option (provided by Wildflower).  You do not need to determine the sessions you will attend until the day of the event.  Space is limited so register as soon as you can; all registrations must be received by October 12th.  If it is more convenient, you may bring your registration to the Coconino Extension office.

You need to be an active Coconino Master Gardener to register. This means at least one volunteer hour on Tim's spreadsheet. You may also elect to volunteer for this event though you will still need to register.

The day’s sessions will provide the 6 continuing education hours.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail from Brandie Gobble when she receives your registration form and $20 fee.

When the speaker bios, presentation descriptions and handouts are available I will let you know.  Like the 2017 “Spring into Gardening”, this is a no frills event.   We ask that you print and bring the information you need. 

The attachment provides a lot of information and will hopefully answer your questions; don’t hesitate to ask if you need more info. See LINK for details and registration.

We hope to see you on October 20.

Hattie Braun

County Director
Assistant in Extension
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Coconino Cooperative Extension
University of Arizona
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004

Phone: (928)773-6118
Fax: (928)774-1860

Friday, September 7, 2018

Riordan Mansion Newsletter

From the Riordan Mansion newsletter:

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
Summer Hours (May 1 - Oct 31)
Hours: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM • Open 7 Days a Week

Tours begin on the hour.  First tour at 10:00 AM and the last tour at 4:00 PM

Reservations for tours are recommended:   928.779.4395
Thanks to a grant from the Coconino Master Gardener Association, the grounds around Riordan Mansion State Historic Park are beautiful.  The Coconino County Master Gardener program emphasizes the needs and challenges of high country gardening. The program involves both classroom learning experience and a hands-on volunteer commitment to share gardening skills with the community. These volunteers have certainly showcased their knowledge at both Riordan Mansion and the Pioneer Museum which also benefited from grant funds in 2018.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Permaculture Workshop at NAU

Please consider joining us for a weekend-long workshop on permaculture, or "permanent agriculture/permanent culture." While permaculture encompasses a large range of topics (social, ecological) we will be focusing mostly on the agricultural side of things. This course will also have a strong emphasis on Indigenous farming. 

This class will include guest lectures from area permaculturists:
Lilian Hill, Hopi Tutskwa Institute
Jeff Meilander, Flagstaff EcoRanch
Scott Ross, Parks PermaFarm

This class takes place from 2-5 on September 7th, 9-4 Saturday the 8th, and 9-4 Sunday the 9th. Course readings and assignments are available online, and will be made available to community members by email as well.
This course is available for graduate-level credit OR non-credit to the community for a workshop fee of $125.
To register please email Questions about the actual workshop? Call Rosemary Logan: 928-853-4333.

More details are attached in the course flyer.  Link to flyer

Take care,

Rosemary Logan, PhD
First Year Seminar Program & 
Sustainable Communities Masters Program
Northern Arizona University
PO BOX 4150, Flagstaff 86011
Bury Hall, Room 307

Friday, August 31, 2018

AZ Trail Day Flagstaff




FLAGSTAFF, AZ- Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 8 when the biggestgathering of Arizona Trail friends comes together to celebrate Arizona Trail Day and the50th Anniversary of the National Trail System Act at Buffalo Park from 10 am to 2 pm.

This is the fifth year the Arizona Trail Association have organized this festive event, withthis year’s Trail Day being presented by Realty Executives of Flagstaff.

This free, family-friendly event will feature a variety of hands-on activities, live music
from Flagstaff’s own Viola & The Brakemen, over 40 exhibitors and local vendors, an
extensive outdoor gear raffle, craft beer from THAT Brewery and Wanderlust Brewing,
as well as presentations from trail professionals and environmental educators. This year
the Arizona Trail Association welcomes the Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat
Initiative on-site with their interactive displays from a diverse group of individuals and
organizations who are working to promote the creation, protection, and registration of
pollinator habitat across Northern Arizona! This year is also being promoted as a Zero
Waste event, where recycled, reusable and compostable items are used and encouraged
for food and drink.

The Arizona Trail Association’s mission is to protect, maintain, enhance, promote and
sustain the Arizona Trail as a unique encounter with the land. It is a complete non-
motorized path, stretching 800 diverse miles across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. It
links deserts, mountains, canyons, forests, communities and people, and as it makes its
way through the Gateway Community of Flagstaff, attendees can experience the beauty
and relevance of this treasured trail right inside Buffalo Park.

For more detailed information about the Arizona Trail Association, sponsors, exhibitors,
vendors, business partners and activities please visit
flagstaff/. Please contact Tamara McDonald at or 520-591-8432 for

event details.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Natural History Institute Talk

One of the most fundamental pursuits for ecologists is cataloging and characterizing the patterns of life on Earth. Traditionally, this was completed via direct observation or capture of species, which typically includes months of field work conducted by professionals trained to sample particular taxonomic groups (e.g., botanists, ornithologists, entomologists). However, all organisms, from bacteria to humans, leave a genetic fingerprint in their environment, and recent technological advances in environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis are allowing researchers detect these signals in air, water, and soil. 

Join us for an introduction to eDNA as a monitoring tool, and an exciting first look at our results from a summer spent investigating patterns of fish and wildlife eDNA on the Verde River.

KATIE BENSON, Assistant Professor of Biology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Katie grew up in Maryland on the outskirts of Washington D.C., and attended Clarkson University, a science and engineering school in Potsdam, New York for her B.S. (Environmental Science and Policy), M.S. (Environmental Science and Engineering), and Ph.D. degrees (Interdisciplinary Biology and Biotechnology). Broadly trained as a conservation biologist, her expertise includes aquatic ecology, wildlife and fisheries biology, and ecological restoration. She is currently the chair of the Wildlife Science program at Embry-Riddle. 

HILLARY EATON, Assistant Professor of Biology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Hillary is the chair of the Forensic Biology program at Embry-Riddle. She holds a B.S. in Veterinary Science from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Oregon State University. Outside of academia, she has worked as a research microbiologist for government agencies and the military, specializing in bioremediation, antimicrobial resistance, and environmental and microbial forensics. 

MATTHEW VALENTE, Collections Manager, Natural History Institute; Adjunct Faculty, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Matt is a conservation biologist that has expertise in botany (B.S. in Botany, Auburn University), conservation genetics (M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee), and paleoecology. Matt currently manages the scientific collections at the Natural History Institute and teaches genetics at Embry-Riddle

Native Plant Society Monthly Meeting

At our next monthly meeting, Dr. Kolb will discuss threats to ponderosa pine forests in northern Arizona, strategies to mitigate threats, and anticipated future forest conditions. Tom is Professor of Forest Ecophysiology in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University, where he has worked for the past 25 years. Tom teaches courses in plant identification, forest ecology, physiology, and forest health; advises graduate students; and conducts research. Tom’s research has been shaped by northern Arizona’s landscape, the land of drought and fire. Most of his research at NAU has focused on impacts of stresses such as drought, wildfire, and insect attacks on southwestern forests, including riparian, woodland, pine/oak and mixed conifer ecosystems. In addition, he conducts ecophysiological studies of sedges, grasses, herbs, and desert shrubs, because a forest is more than just trees. He currently is most focused on understanding whether and how forest management can mitigate negative impacts of climate warming on forests.

Our meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 18 at the Shepherd of the Hills Church, 1601 N. San Francisco Street, beginning at 7 p.m.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Hoop House Workshop

The first of two hoop house workshops will be this Saturday, August 25 from 9-11 AM at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Colton Community Garden. This is a working workshop. During this first workshop we will assemble the structure, plumb and square it and get it ready for covering. Lots of hands on jobs; holes to dig, drilling, bolting, etc. Hope to see you there! Carol Fritzinger is leading this project.
In a couple of weeks we will schedule phase two to cover the structure and build end walls. Should be tons of fun and a great opportunity to learn how to construct a hoop house.

The materials for the hoop house were purchased via an agreement with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Beginning Farmer Program. It will serve as an example of a hoop house that can handle lots of snow. Hopefully we'll get enough snow to test it this coming winter.

Fritz and Hattie

Friday, August 24, 2018

Ponderosa Pine Needle Composting

For those of you that heard Cindy Sparks Brueks gave us a short presentation at our last CMGA meeting about composting ponderosa pine needles. She is a San Diego Master Gardener that recently moved to Flagstaff.  Here's the article that she referred to about pine needle composting. She is looking for people to try to composting pine needles. If you are interested in helping with this project, please contact her at:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Foodlink July Newsletter

Want to start a farm?

In this issue: Flagstaff Urban Farm Land Initiative, chicken coop search, job opportunity and more!

Want to start a farm? The City of Flagstaff has land for you.

The City of Flagstaff is excited to announce the Flagstaff Urban Farm Land Initiative. In an effort to expand urban agriculture and support economic development in Flagstaff, the City of Flagstaff is accepting applicants for an urban farm, where vacant City land will be licensed for farming for four-year terms at $100 per year. For the pilot effort, there is a 0.2-acre parcel available south of the former Public Works Yard on 419 North Mogollon. To be considered, please submit a completed application by 9 pm MST on Tuesday, August 7, 2018.

Photo credit: Tamara Hastie
Apply Here

Want to show off your chicken coop?
Do you keep chickens and live in Sunnyside, Greenlaw, Swiss Manor, Shadow Mountain, or Grandview? We're looking for people who are willing to show off their home chicken coop as part of our annual Tour de Coop on Saturday, October 6! Email us at

Learn More

Congratulations to Pinon Garden! 
Pinon Community Garden received a Neighborhood Sustainability Grant from the City of Flagstaff! The $2,000 received will go towards the installation of water-conserving drip irrigation, a community bulletin board, and plant ID tags. The garden was recently planted with low water native and herbaceous plants as well as a small orchard of plum, apple, and cherry trees. The irrigation was set up on two zones so that the native and perennial plants, once established, will no longer require supplemental water (except during periods of extreme drought). The orchard trees were planted in a low lying area with greater access to seasonal water/moist soil. 
Learn More

Other local food happenings...

Rio Salado College is hiring for someone to teach correspondence courses to prison inmates enrolled in a certificate program in Sustainable Food Systems. Contact for next steps.

Arizona Mead and Cider Festival - August 4, 2018
Worm Workshop - August 15, 2018
Farmer Chef Connection - September 10, 2018
Little Colorado River Farmers Market - Every Saturday through Sept 15, 2018
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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Weeding at Kachina Wetlands

July 21, 7 am to 11 am
If you are interested in improving Kachina Wetlands, please consider volunteering for one to three hours on July 21st between 7  -11 am. Due to the dedicated efforts of volunteers last summer, 80% of the knapweed at Kachina has been eliminated. It's very important for us to remove as many flowering plants as possible so that they don't respread into areas where weeds have been removed. 
Please bring a shovel, gloves, water, and sunscreen.  Weeds will be fairly easy to remove, thanks to recent rains. 
Watermelon and cookies will be provided. 
    Kachina Wetlands is a Northern Audubon Bird Sanctuary, and over 200 species of birds have been known to use it. Volunteers will see herons, egrets, and other species of waterfowl while they're working.
For more information, contact Christina Vojta,

Sunday, July 15, 2018

August CMGA Meeting Agenda

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 6:30pm
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church—Benson Hall
1601 N. San Francisco, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

6:30-6:35pm    Welcome-Sherline Alexander   
6:35-6:40pm    Introduction of Speakers—Gilli Thomas
6:40-7:45pm    Education:  Nigel Sparks, Water Harvesting
(15 minute break with refreshments)
7:45-8:00pm      Raffle Prize Drawing – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win

8:00-8:25pm    Business Meeting—Sherline Alexander
MG Coordinator Happenings—Hattie Braun
  • 2018 Fall into Gardening Conference for Master Gardeners at Trinity Hts Church
  • Wednesday Market on 4th Street—Volunteers are needed
  • Posters/visuals for the County Fair
  • CMGA Hotline  
  • Possible Citizen Science Projects for Ponderosa Pine Needle Composting
        Financial Report—Molly Larsen       
Committee Progress Reports:
Flagstaff Tour of Artful Gardens July 21, 2018– Jenny Quarteman and Colleen Tucker report on this year’s Tour     
Continuing Education—Gilli Thomas
  • September 23 Annual Potluck/Recognition Picnic at Viola’s from 12-2pm
  • October 11 Jan Busco – Summer in the MNA Gardens
  • November 8 Nigel Sparks – Landscaping
  • December 13 Christmas Party   
Volunteer Support—Tim Ellsworth-Bowers /Crys Wells
Flagstaff Monthly Garden Tours - Susan Thompson and Lori Tamblingson
Blog/Communication – Loni Shapiro
Social – Liz George
MG Projects/Seed Library – Jackie Alston
        Historian—Tammy Valdovino
Fundraising—Open - Need volunteer for fundraising chair/committee.
New Business:
8:25-8:30    Gardening Questions?
Next meeting:    September 23–Annual Recognition Potluck/Picnic at Violas, 12-2pm