Coconino Master Gardener Association

Currently, warblers of several species are migrating through Flagstaff towards Canada and beyond. The Yellow Warblers, like this little guy are often an exception. They frequently choose to remain in Flagstaff throughout the summer. All of the warblers are busily searching the innermost branches of shrubs and trees for insects.
Photo by Cindy Murray.

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!

Event Calendar

Friday, August 31, 2012

Volunteer Opportunity with the Flagstaff Ranger District

Flagstaff Ranger District seeks volunteers for tree planting events

Flagstaff, AZ – The Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest is seeking volunteers to help replant the Schultz burn and White Vulcan Mine areas this October.

Volunteers will plant approximately 5,000 ponderosa pine seedling in the Schultz Fire burn area as well as the reclaimed White Vulcan Mine, which is within the Schultz Fire perimeter north of Flagstaff.  The mine ceased operating two years ago and the surface has been reclaimed and restored to natural contours and was seeded with grasses and forbs. Replanting efforts will continue the rehabilitation of the mine site. 

Each event will begin with a safety briefing and planting demonstration at 8:30 am, and will end early afternoon.
Saturday, October 6 – White Vulcan Mine
Saturday, October 13 – Schultz Fire burn area
Saturday, October 20– Schultz Fire burn area
Volunteers must wear long pants and sturdy shoes, and should bring gloves, hard hat or bicycle helmet, water, snacks and lunch. Some gloves and hard hats will be available to borrow.

Participants of all ages are encouraged to join; minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Space is limited to 50 volunteers per event. Please register by contacting Justin Loxley at the Flagstaff Ranger District by calling 928-527-8212 or emailing Directions, parking information, and additional details will be provided upon registration.

Master Gardener 5th Annual Recognition Picnic

Please come join us for the event. Contact Hattie Braun at

Riordan Workdays for the Remainder of the Year

Hi everyone,

Below is listed the remaining work days scheduled for the Riordan Gardens for this year.  We have had a great year and accomplished a lot. Thanks for all your dedicated work. Please mark your calendars for those days that you can join us.  

The Riordan has shovels and rakes that we can use but if a large number of us turns out on a work day there is not enough for all of us so please bring your shovel and rake plus your clippers and any other tools (with your names written on them) you think you may need. Also, don't forget your water bottle, a snack and your gloves.  I will bring a large container of ice water to refill your water bottles when needed through out the day.  All the work days start at 9:00 and we will work until 1:30 or so. However, if you can't come for the full time you can come and help for however much time you can donate between 9 and 1:30.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteer Opportunity
Assist the Native Plant Materials Program with an Invasive Weed and Revegetation Project in the Schultz Burn Area.
The Arboretum of Flagstaff and Museum of Northern Arizona are studying the effects of invasive weed management and revegetation after a fire. This part of the project will entail planting and seeding native plant materials into experimental plots. The plots are located along Forest Road 420 (Schultz Pass Road) in the Schultz burn area.
When: Wednesday, August 29th from 9:00am-2:00pm.
Where: Volunteers will meet Connie Cowan at the USFS Flagstaff Ranger District Station parking lot by the Visitors Center at 9:00am. This is located across Hwy 89 from the Flagstaff Mall on the east side of town and car pool to the sites.  
What to Bring: Everyone will need gloves, water, lunch, hat, sunscreen, long pants, and good work shoes. 
 RSVP: I would like to know how many individuals to expect, so anyone interested in assisting should contact Connie or 928-774-5211 ext 216. Please let me know if there are any questions.
Connie Cowan
Native Plant Materials Program
Museum of Northern Arizona
3101 N. Fort Valley Road
Flagstaff, AZ, 86001

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Garden Visits July 21-August 25, 2012

Garden Visit 10 a.m. Saturday, August 25
Who: Our hosts are Fred aka Fast Fred and Dale Taunton

Where: Doney Park, 5420 Forest Drive
Description: On a vacant 2.25 acre field, beginning 15 years ago Fred and Dale have built a riverbed, three waterfalls and a large pond.  Two underground cisterns catch rain and snow water from rain gutters to use for irrigation and filling the pond.  The landscape includes native plants, large Moenkopi sandstone boulders, river rock and flagstone.  A vegetable garden “is enjoyed by the squirrels and birds”

Directions:  Hwy 89 North past the Flagstaff Mall, approx. 4 miles, go left on Sunset Dr. (across from Titan Propane), turn right onto Silver Saddle Dr., then left onto Forest Dr., almost to the end.  Look for a raised sandstone boulder driveway on the left side of the road with a bridge over the wash in front.  We’ll put some balloons on the mail box!

Phone: 928 606 9863
Thanks to Steve Huffman for arranging this invitation

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monthly CMGA Meeting Minutes 8/9/12

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 8/9/2012
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

6:30pm-6:35pm                Welcome – Agenda - Debi Stalvey
                         Brief review of agenda for the evening
6:35pm-6:45pm                Introduction of speakers - Debi Stalvey

6:45pm-7:45pm                Continuing Education
Thank you to both speakers for presenting material they prepared for the Flagstaff Home and Garden Show.
Propagation from Stem Cuttings – Linda Guarino                                            You can find the PowerPoint for this talk on the Coconino County Extension Web Site.
                                    Season Extenders – Ann Eagan
                      PowerPoint for Ann’s talk can also be found on the site.
7:45pm-8:00pm                Refreshments – Thanks to Linda Guarino

8:00pm - 8:25pm              Business Meeting – Debi Stalvey
Overview of recent Executive Meeting – Debi Stalvey
Debi outlined the upcoming elections (Nov.) for new officers. She and Ann would like to stay on as Pres. and Secy. The VP and Treasurer are leaving. All officers are up for re-election. Crys Wells and Linda Guarino expressed interest in co-running for Treasurer and Charlotte Dodgson for V. Pres. Think about running and we will bring this up at the next meeting in October. We also need committee chairs for 2013 – Calendar Project, MG Projects, Community Markets, and the Speakers Bureau. These are appointed by the President. Let Debi know if you are interested.
The Christmas Party will be held on December 13th at Molly Larsen’s home. Details will be e-mailed to the listserv.
Loni Shapiro is researching having a Plant and Garden Sale next year in conjunction with the Arboretum. It would include seedlings and gently used garden equipment/art. She will be talking with the Arboretum director (Lynne Nemeth) this week and report back at the next meeting of the Executive Board. The goal for earning more money would be to increase grants and purchase AV equipment/camera for the CMGA. Loni would like to start small and see what works. She will need at least 4 additional committee members to help do this project. Contact her if you are interested.

                                                Financial report – Ed Skiba
Ed reports we are now at 60 members. Our current balance in our account is 731.74. Those funds will be
used for the final calendar payment and the church. Ed has the accounts set up on Quicken and working
for the next treasurer.
                                                MG Program Happenings (Classes, Conference) – 
Hattie Braun/Ann Eagan
The MG class is going to happen in the fall. It will be held this year at Flagstaff Middle School. Details will
be on the extension site and/or come from Hattie by e-mail.
The conference is set for Oct. 6. So far, there are about 20 registrations.
There was a discussion on scholarships. Ann Eagan mentioned students, and Christine Orr suggested
 they be offered to the Flagstaff Community Garden coordinators. Loni Shapiro suggested that the
 availability be announced to all MGs – listserv or other list Hattie may have so all have a chance. There
 has been over $700 collected and participants will be asked to contribute some funds.
                Committee Reports:
                                                Continuing Education – Loni Shapiro
Loni will be leaving the education position next year. She will survey the listserv for ideas for next year’s
speakers in September and has one to add (speaker on Bees from the Mountain Living Mag.). She emphasized that this is not a difficult job for a volunteer. The survey and the Executive Board can help with ideas, and all just need to be contacted. We now have a speaker guideline form that can be sent.
Speakers are added to the AZ Daily Sun calendar one week prior to the meeting. Dana Prom Smith is open to articles to be published one week prior to the meeting. These must be sent in at least a month in advance to him for editing.
2012 has 2 remaining speakers. See bottom for schedule.                                            

                                                Community Programs
                                                                Community Market – Julie Holmes
Julie needs people for September for 2 markets on Sunday. Contact her if you are interested. Andrea and Galen Guerrette will work one, not sure yet which. Julie and Molly will be leaving this committee next year and need a replacement to schedule markets. Loni Shapiro suggested that this become a requirement for master gardener certification. When she did her requirements she had to do some hours with the hot line which is no longer used. This could be a requirement instead and help us to fill the slots. Any newbie would work with a certified Master Gardener. The market on Silver Saddle and highway 89A has asked us to man a booth there. The info was passed on to Debi Stalvey to check out.

                                                                Speakers Bureau – Bea Cooley
Bea talked about the calendar which will be arriving in another week. It will be sold at the fall conference and any place else we are involved in, including the market, and the Recognition Picnic. She also talked about the Speaker’s Bureau and read a list of ideas to encourage people to participate. We all have something to share about gardening.

                                                Volunteer Support/Social – Hattie Braun and Crys Wells
Crys reported recorded hours for the month –
442.25 Volunteer
  57.5   Education
There were several questions about what can be used for Education hours. Reading is not an option unless it is prep time for a talk. Please refer to the guidelines for Volunteer and Education Hours on the blog – Documents & Forms area.
New Business:                  Need a digital photographer for photos for the blog and publicity. The association is thinking of buying a camera when funds allow, but we need someone to do this for adding to the blog and other publicity. This is separate from the historian who also takes archival photos.

8:25pm – 8:30pm             Gardening Questions?
Andrea Guerrette asked for ID for a flower. It was identified as a campanula (Bell Flower) and several suggested to remove it from her yard. It travels by rhizome and can be very invasive and difficult to get rid of.
Julie Holmes asked about blackspot on her Amur Maple. People were uncertain about the cause but suggested she take a branch to Warners.
Susan Thompson ( asked about an evergreen shrub to replace a juniper she is removing. Any suggestions should be sent to her as there were not many other than something in the same family as holly.
Debi Stalvey brought up something that Jean Hockman had told her. If your plants are not surviving you might check to see if your water is connected to the water softener. If you have a water softener it is most likely connected unless it is a newer home. The softener provides too much salt to your plants.
Next meeting:                  September 9, 2012
                                                Annual Recognition Picnic
                                                Fort Tuthill (details to follow)

Future meetings:

*Oct. 11 – Landscaping with Native Grasses – Jan Busco
Nov. 8 – Pending – Tam Nguyen – topic TBA
Those starred are confirmed

** Even though great care has been taken to maintain the accuracy of any material and information presented at our meetings, the CMGA does not give any warranty or other assurance as to the content, accuracy, completeness, timelessness, or fitness for any particular purpose. General guidelines for speakers can be found on our blog under documents and forms.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Flagstaff Native Plant Society Monthly Lecture/Field Trip

Greetings, All, 

On Tuesday, August 21, 2012, Jan Busco will give a presentation - Penstemons of Grand Canyon National Park.  Jan is the horticulturalist in the Vegetation Program at the Park and a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic botanist of Northern Arizona native plants.  Jan's research on Penstemons is partially funded by a grant from the American Penstemon Society.  The meeting will take place at 7:00 pm in Room 328 of the Biology Building at NAU. 

The Sunday moss field trip with Theresa Clark, followed by an indoor workshop to observe collected mosses under microscopes, must be postponed due to a conflict in her schedule. We will announce a date in September for a moss walk at higher elevations.
At this moment, there is no Sunday walk scheduled for August 26.  Stay tuned. 
Posted by
D. Lamm