Coconino Master Gardener Association

From Dennis in the winter.
"We call it a greenhouse because the frame is green."
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, located at 1601 N. San Francisco, Flagstaff, 86001. 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, February 20, 2017

Native Plant Society Meeting and Volunteering at Deaver Herbarium

"Flagstaff Area Milkweeds" by Zack Zdinak. 
Naturalist and illustrator Zackery Zdinak propagates Asclepias sp. in his native plant garden, and makes specimens available for research. Zack has devoted his life to the love of wildlife and nature, catching frogs and snakes in Connecticut as a child, and later as a peripatetic Wildlife Biologist, Fire Fighter and Interpreter with US Fish & Wildlife, National Forest and National Park Services in Utah and Arizona. In 1998, Zack founded Life Drawing & Education, providing products and services for environmental education, interpretation, and science inquiry programs. He has designed, illustrated and managed interpretive media projects for parks, campgrounds, arboreta, public schools, and non-profit clients in several states. 

Tuesday, March 21, 7 PM at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Pearson Building on the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Research Campus, across from the main campus off HWY 180. Easy to find!  Easy to park! 

Also, Do not forget, plant mounting at the Deaver Herbarium, the first and third Thursday of the month, 1:30 pm, 3rd floor of the Biology Building at NAU.  This month will be March 2nd and 16th.  If you have any questions, contact or Come and enjoy the company of other plant enthusiasts!

Native Plant Worshop - Keep Sedona Beautiful

NPW-Web-Banner-2017 v2
I just received notice from KSB about their annual Native Plant Workshop. I have attended several times and found the workshop inexpensive and useful. This year Bill McDorman from the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance is one of the keynotes. If you haven't heard him he is a great speaker and this year will talk about invasive plants. Check it out if you are interested.
It is that time of year when it is time to register for the Native Plant Workshop!  You have attended the Workshop in the past, so we wanted to be sure that you would have first choice of the six workshops being offered (the walkabout has a limit of 15 so everyone can see and hear and the others are maxed out at 30 attendees per session).
Here is the link:
And feel free to pass this information on to anyone else that you think would be interesting in this educational experience. 

All the best,
Nancy Spinelli
Native Plant Workshop Chair
Keep Sedona Beautiful

Keep Sedona Beautiful, Inc., acting through the stewardship of its members and volunteers,

is committed to protect and sustain the unique scenic beauty and natural environment of the Greater Sedona Area.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weed Management

News from the Native Plant Society
Dear colleagues, I know that this may not be accurate but I often find that native plant enthusiasts are also concerned about exotic weed invasions.  I have been working with some colleagues to develop a survey of weed priorities for natural areas but I need to improve circulation and participation. Feel free to complete the survey yourself but can you help me circulate this survey among land managers and weed control folks in Arizona? This survey has been developed for Arizona specifically with the goal of getting broader input into the prioritization of weeds and which should be targets of biological control.

Please circulate the following link to stakeholders in Arizona who are responsible for weed management or have knowledge/experience of weed impacts first-hand (e.g. county-level weed managers, land management agencies, individual landholders, weed ecologists). All surveys should be completed by 22-Feb-2017. The survey is designed to short as well as enable each person to forward the link on to others as well. Here is the link:

Thanks, Paul.

Dr. Paul Pratt, Ph.D.
Research Leader
Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research Unit
800 Buchanan Street, Office 3008, Lab 2136
Albany, CA  94710
Office: (510) 559-6127
Cell: (510) 332-7679

Friday, February 17, 2017

Picture Canyon Volunteering

Good afternoon!
My name is Erin O’Keefe, I am the Open Space Aide working with Betsy Emery in the City of Flagstaff Open Space Program. This year, I will be assisting with coordinating volunteer events throughout the summer at Picture Canyon. Since you all are very knowledgeable about invasive plants and very dedicated to conservation at Picture Canyon, I wanted to touch bases and get some input about best days and times for scheduling volunteer efforts throughout the summer. Would you prefer mornings to afternoons for weed-pulling events? Also, do weekdays work better (perhaps Fridays) or are weekends preferred? We will be advertising these volunteer events with the public and are hoping to organizer the monthly pulls between April and September, depending on the conditions on the ground.

So far, we have set one volunteer event for Picture Canyon in celebration of Arbor Day. We recently met with another Picture Canyon steward with the Northern Arizona Audubon Society and decided on hosting an event on Saturday, April 29th from 9am-12pm at Picture Canyon. We are envisioning a two in one effort where we are able to have some volunteers pull fencing from the riparian area near the pond while other volunteers remove invasive weeds in the same area (and hopefully are able to remove the Scotch thistles that survived last year). Please let us know if you are available on this day and are interested, or know of others who may be interested in participating. Feel free to share this information with anyone else that might be interested in volunteering.

We are excited to begin our volunteer planning for the summer! Thank you for all the continued support. I look forward to meeting each of you in person in the near future. Have a great rest of your week.

Erin O’Keefe | Open Space Aide VISTA
City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Thursday, February 09, 2017 – 6:30pm
Viola’s Flower Garden
7085 S. State Route 89A

6:30pm – 6:45pm     Welcome – Sherline Alexander, president
6:45pm – 6:50pm     Introduction of Speaker – Hattie Braun
6:50pm – 7:45pm     Education:  Fruit Trees:  Pruning, Care and Selection - Mick Henry & Hattie Braun
7:45pm – 8:00pm     Refreshments and Raffle Prize Drawing
8:00pm – 8:25pm     Business Meeting – Sherline Alexander
     MG Coordinator Happenings - Hattie Braun
     Financial report – Molly Larsen
     Committee Reports:
          Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
          FundraisingCindy Krznarich
          Continuing Education – Gilli Thomas
          MG Projects – Jackee Alston
          Historian – Tammy Valdovino
          Community Markets – Andrea Guerrette
8:25pm – 8:30pm     Gardening Questions?      

Next meeting:           March 9:  Tom Weinert on soil building and organic gardening

Educational and Volunteer Opportunities from the blog (

Arboretum at Flagstaff Happenings!

Winter Workshops! 
Willow Bend and the Arboretum have partnered for a 3-part Winter Workshop series to keep you learning and growing through the winter season! Join us at the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center for interactive, educational workshops with the staff from the Arboretum. Save the dates and sign up on the Willow Bend website. Free for Arboretum Members!

Saturday, February 11th 10am-12pm  Plants & Pollinators with Kris Haskins 
Saturday, February 18th 10am-12pm  Wildlife Tracking with Lynne Nemeth
Saturday, March 25th 10am-12pm  Pruning with Christi Sorrell 
Group Garden Days!

Help staff prepare gardens & plants for spring. Join us starting in March in the greenhouse and gardens from 10am-2pm each of the following days: 3/10, 3/14,
3/15,3/16 and 3/31.
We'll supply tools and direction, please bring layers, a hat, water bottle and lunch. Meet at the blue-roofed
Hort Greenhouse.
 Join us Saturdays in 
April on 4/8 and 4/22 from 10-2.

Contact Shannon for more info or to rsvp.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Spring Into Gardening Conference - Prescott

Coconino Master Gardeners –

Here is the long-awaited information for the March 25th  Spring into Gardening - Master Gardener Education Day.

This is for active Master Gardeners only. This means that you need to have entered some volunteer hours within the last year.

Unlike a Garden Conference with vendors, welcome bags, door prizes, etc. this is a no-frills day of continuing education.  In order to keep the fee reasonable ($12 fee covers lunch), we ask that you do the following.
  • Wear your MG nametag
  • Print the agenda and any info you want to have with you
  • Bring your own morning coffee/hot drink – water, snacks, and lunch will be provided

The attached Registration file includes instructions, the agenda, and the registration form.  There is a limitation on the number of participants for the different talks/activities.  The positions will be filled on a “first come, first served” basis.  Notice that your registration includes your lunch selection and the talks/activities you wish to participate in.  In response to feedback from previous Garden Conferences, you will notice that some sessions are repeated.

Registrations are due by March 1st.

The attached files include:
  • Registration (Instructions, the day’s agenda, and registration form)
  • Mar25thAbstracts (Descriptions of each talk/activity)
  • Bios (Information on the presenters)
You will receive an e-mail confirmation after your registration is received (including check or credit card payment).  If you do not receive the confirmation with about 5 days of mailing, contact Mary Barnes,

Registrants will receive a map, parking instructions, etc. closer to the event date.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Deaver Herbarium Mounting Sessions

 Native Plant Lovers,
February 2 and 16, there will be plant mounting sessions on the third floor of the Biology Building at
 NAU in the Deaver Herbarium.  The session starts at 1:30. The sessions will continue on the 
first and third Thursdays of the month at 1:30pm. Come and enjoy the company of people who enjoy botany!
Contact emails are: or


Thursday, January 12, 2017

CMGA 2017 Garden Grants

It's time to think about gardening projects again! 
We're happy to announce that we've moved our grant cycle deadline to January 31st instead of May 31st and that we've allocated $5,000 for grants! 

Please see the attached flyer about the grant program and application. Or read the information cut and pasted below, if you have trouble with the attachments.

Email Jackee Alston @ with any questions.

Call for Grant Applications 
The Coconino County Master Gardner Association is currently accepting applications for the 2017 gardening season. Submit your application by  January 31st, 2017 Applications can be found at LINK
 Or contact Jackee Alston @ or (928) 814-2280 to have an electronic copy sent to you. 
Qualifying projects should: 1. Fill a need or give value to the community and/or CMGA. 2. Have some educational component for gardeners on the project. 
Notification of funding will be announced early February and checks mailed out shortly after. 


Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Thursday, January 12, 2017 – 6:30pm
Viola’s Flower Garden
7085 S. State Route 89A

6:30pm – 6:45pm     Welcome – Sherline Alexander, president
          Outgoing president’s 2016 report – Jim Mast
6:45pm – 6:50pm     Introduction of Speaker – Gilli Thomas
6:50pm – 7:45pm     Education:  Presentations from 2016 grant recipients
7:45pm – 8:00pm     Refreshments and Raffle Prize Drawing
8:00pm – 8:25pm     Business Meeting – Sherline Alexandar
     MG Coordinator Happenings - Hattie Braun
     Financial report – Molly Larsen
     Committee Reports:
          Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
          FundraisingCindy Krznarich
          Continuing Education – Gilli Thomas
          MG Projects – Jackee Alston
          Historian – Tammy Valdovino
          Community Markets – Andrea Guerrette
8:25pm – 8:30pm     Gardening Questions?      

Next meeting:           February 9:  Mick Henry and Hattie Braun – Care and Fun of Fruit Trees
Educational and Volunteer Opportunities from the blog (

International Master Gardener Conference

The International Master Gardener Conference (IMGC) is happening this year in Portland, Oregon July 10-14. To be at a conference with over 1,000 Master Gardeners is an experience not to be missed. I’m forwarding an e-mail with lots of information but if you don’t want to read all that click on this link 2017 International Master Gardener Conference. The conference will feature 5 days of talks, tours, movies and more. So if you summer travels include a visit to the northwest, think about signing up. Early registration ends Jan. 13. I’ll be there!


The deadline for the early registration discount ($50) for the 2017 IMGC is nearing.  The last day for early registration is January 13th.

More than 45 classes will be given in concurrent sessions, according to Amy Jo Detweiler, a horticulturist for Extension and coordinator of the speakers. Classes embrace a broad range of topics, including garden design, edibles, bee health, disease and pest management, pruning, soils and history.
Three keynote speakers are on the agenda – Dan Hinkley, plant explorer and former owner of Heronswood Nursery; Renee Shepherd, founder and owner of Renee’s Garden; and John Marzluff, professor of environmental and forest sciences at the University of Washington.
Other well-known presenters are Lee Reich, horticulturist and author; Sean Hogan, owner of Cistus Nursery in Sauvie Island; Lucy Hardiman, Portland garden designer and author; Ramesh Sagili, assistant professor and bee expert at OSU; and Thomas Rainer, landscape architect, teacher and author.
A garden-themed movie festival, trade show and 16 full- or half-day tours are also planned.

Summer Agricultlural Institute

Summer Agricultural Institute (SAI)
SAI is a five-day, traveling tour designed to teach K-12 teachers about food and fiber production and help them incorporate that knowledge in the classroom curriculum. SAI combines hands-on learning about agriculture with practical curriculum development.

SAI provides participants with free classroom materials that are aligned to Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards. Participants will visit a variety of agricultural operations, spend an entire day at the University of Arizona's research farm, visit schools with active agriculture education programs, and spend an afternoon with a modern-day farming or ranching family.

The 27th SAI will be held Monday, June 5 thru Friday, June 9, 2017. We will begin in the Phoenix area and travel north to the cool-aired regions of Yavapai and Coconino Counties visiting agricultural industries along the way.

There is no cost to apply for SAI, but you must be accepted to participate. Apply by March 1 and only pay $85, if you are accepted. Apply after March 1 and pay $125. Accepted applicants will need to provide payment by May 25.

What have teachers said about SAI?
  • "An educationally jam-packed week!"
  • "Volumes of information - I'm glad it was fast paced."
  • "Tiring, but very educational!"
  • "Amazing, fast-paced, and informative."
  • "Long, but very intensive about learning how agriculture works."
  • "Packed with interesting info, extremely valuable, exhausting, not to be missed!"
Visit to find more information, such as answers to frequently asked questions, quotes from past participants, resources provided over the years, and a list of tours from the past 25+ years.

Be sure to visit our newly created Details webpage. There you’ll see a timeline of events for applying and when to expect what - if you are accepted to participate.

Contact Brandon Moak ( with any questions.

~  Please allow at least 24hrs for email responses. I apologize for the delay.  ~
Brandon Moak, LPC
Program Coordinator, Sr.
Agriculture Literacy Program

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Docent Training at the Arboretum

The Arboretum at Flagstaff 2017 
Docent Training Program
Gain knowledge, Give back
Every Wednesday, March 1 - April 19 from 10am - 2:15pm
March 1 - 29 classes will be held at Coconino Cooperative Extension
April 5 - 19 classes will be held at the Arboretum at Flagstaff

What is an Arboretum docent?
As trained volunteers, docents assist with public tours, school field trips, and community programs
taking place at The Arboretum. Docents are valued members of The Arboretum community and the
“front-line” of the work that we do to educate and inspire all visitors.

Located on 200 acres, The Arboretum at Flagstaff is a nonprofit organization and home to 750 species of
plants in gardens, greenhouses, and natural habitats. We support the community as a research and
conservation center, outdoor education facility, summer camp, and unique venue for retreats and
special events.

For information contact Shannon Benjamin at or see Volunteer | The Arboretum at Flagstaff

Friday, December 2, 2016