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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bee Talk at MNA

MNA’s Science Cafe
Wednesday, December 12th., 7-830pm  FREE!

The Buzz on Native Bees
Dr. Kristen Potter, insect physiologist and MNA volunteer

Our approximately 4000 native bee species come in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and colors. These efficient bees are typically non-aggressive and have pollinated our continent’s flowering plants since long before the arrival of honey bees. Unfortunately, our native bee species are declining, but there are many ways we can help them. We will discuss the importance of native bees in our ecosystems, identify simple (and fun) ways you can help native bees, and learn how they will improve the health of your yard and garden. Join us for a short presentation followed by lively discussion and Q&A. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 11/8/2012

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 11/8/2012
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

Continuing Education
                                                      Fire, Flood, and Forest Recovery: The Science of Habitat Restoration
                                                      Schultz Fire
                                                      Dr. Kris Haskins, the Arboretum at Flagstaff

Dr. Haskins gave an overview of the Schultz Fire and the effects on the burned and surrounding areas.  The fire burned about 15,000 acres and the flooding caused by the runoff from the monsoon rains resulted in massive erosion and incredible damage to homes and property.  While some native species have started to re-colonize the area, non-native weeds have become a major problem in both the burned and in the affected population areas.  The Arboretum at Flagstaff, the Museum of Northern Arizona, Arizona Forestry and the United States Forest Service, have been studying the issues and working on restoration of the affected areas.  The restoration efforts include: mechanical removal like mowing, grazing by sheep or goats, pulling, mulching, use of herbicides, burning, encouraging competition and biocontrol.  Unfortunately, mowing only works in areas that can be reached by machines, many weeds are not palatable to animals, pulling and mulching is very labor intensive, herbicides can negatively affect more than the weeds, some weeds grow best after a fire and competition and biocontrol require patience.  If you remove the weeds and then plant natives, the natives can shade out the invasive weeds. There is a study in progress to determine the most effective ways to re-introduce natives to an area.  Biocontrol, the use of a natural predator like a beetle specific to a particular weed, can reduce or eliminate the weed in a particular area but it takes time and can be expensive.  For example, the beetle for Dalmation Toadflax costs $.77 per beetle and thousands are needed to treat a relatively small area. 

If you live in an area affected by the Schultz Fire, you can contact Dr. Haskins at, about the Private Landholders Assessment Program.  The program will work with the homeowners to examine weed issues, develop a plan for weed removal and assistance, determine options for restoration and monitor the progress of the actions taken.
Thanks to Laura Parker, Andrea and Galen Guerette and Ann Eagan for the refreshments.

Business Meeting