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, March 29, 2013

Earth Day Cleanup at Olivia White

We have already begun planning for the garden season at Olivia White Hospice Garden, and work will begin sometime in April. For anyone needing master gardener hours or just wanting to help we will do our usual clean up day on Earth Day, April 20 (weather permitting). We will be in the garden from 9am-12pm. Parking is available at the First Congregational Church on Turquoise just past Switzer Canyon Drive. Our address is 752 Switzer Canyon Drive. We will be deadheading, raking, sweeping, sanding raised beds, and beginning to bring out our hardscape.

Come join us for the workday. We will provide water in a large container (bring a small one if you want to take it with you) and snacks. Close toed shoes required and suggest long sleeves and pants as it is dirty work. We do have extra gloves and tools. If you bring your own please label with your name. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at

All volunteers welcome this day. Seasonal certification not required.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New information available for 2013: Volunteer sites and MG Grant application

As we approach the busy gardening season, you all, undoubtedly, are looking for volunteer sites.  We have an updated list of volunteer sites listed on the blog, or accessible here.  If you want to update your site's information, please contact Ali Coates.  If you want to list a new volunteer site, please compete the MG Projects Application 2013.

It is also the time to start thinking about applying for a MG Project Grant.  This year the organization plans to award $1250 in grants.  For more information, and to access the grant application form, please see here.

So start planning your activities for the growing season!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Master Gardener Association Meeting Minutes

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 3/14/2013
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

Loni Shapiro – Volunteering at Hospice
Loni talked about volunteering at the Olivia White Hospice gardens:

We have already begun planning for our 2013 garden season. We will start work in the garden sometime in April. Watch our blog ( for current information. Orientation for new seasonal and drop in volunteers will be available twice this season - April 25 and May 4 at 10am at the garden. It will last about 2 hours and is for those who want to work in the garden this year, not as a tour. If you want to help but are unable to attend one of those sessions please contact me by e-mail or phone (522-8635). Our workdays this season will be Mon. & Thurs. from 8am-12pm and one Saturday a month from 9am-12pm.

We have some new requirements this year due to Medicare regulations.
1. Fill out a 1-page application for Northland Hospice
2. TB clearance which can be done in 1 of 3 ways:
     a. TB skin test done by Northland Hospice (contact me for details on how to do this)
     b. Recent chest x-ray
     c. Letter from Dr. or DO stating you are free of TB symptoms
3. Confidentiality training HIPAA
Written handout, brief lecture, and quiz
4. Optional for those who want to water in the home or work with residents in the garden.
Background check

We have our usual weeding, planting, vegetable gardening, composting, and irrigation work this year, but in addition will be doing 2 new landscaping projects and a couple of pathways.

Last of all, this is my last season at Olivia White (10 years this year), and I am looking for a MG to take over coordination beginning next year. This can be 1 person or it could be a shared responsibility. If you are interested please contact me. Participation this season would be helpful for seeing what is required.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Arboretum at Flagstaff Announces Volunteer Orientation

The Arboretum at Flagstaff’s annual volunteer orientation will take place on Friday, April 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.   Staff members will provide information about The Arboretum’s history, mission, research, and programming, as well as will introduce volunteers to the variety of opportunities available in the 2013 season.  Assistance is needed in the gardens, greenhouse, and Visitor Center , as well as during special events, wildlife programs, and seed collecting trips.  To register for the volunteer orientation, please call (928) 774-1442, ext. 124. For more information and to download a volunteer application, visit

Monday, March 18, 2013

AZ Native Plant Society is gearing up for the season: First meeting tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 19 will be the first monthly meeting of 2013. For AZNPS. This year there is a NEW LOCATION:  Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 1601 N. San Francisco Street.  Easy to find.  Easy to park.  The meetings are free and open to the public, so bring all your friends.  
Elizabeth Johnson will speak about "Love Blossoms at 11,000 Feet: A Story of Hybridization in the San Francisco Peaks Groundsel".  
Elizabeth Johnson is a Master's Degree candidate in the Biology Department at Northern Arizona University.  She will present on the hybridization of the San Francisco Peaks Groundsel (Packera franciscana) with its lower elevation relative the Hoary Groundsel (P. werneriifolia).  The San Francisco Peaks Groundsel is a rare and threatened dwarf perennial, growing only on the alpine and sub alpine slopes of the San Francisco Peaks.  She will discuss both the molecular and morphological work used to detect this hybridization.  
Sunday walks will begin in April.  

Foodlink/SSLUG Seed Swap rescheduled to this Sunday!

Although we were snowed out last weekend, we've still got lots of seeds to swap! Please join us at the rescheduled event on Sunday, March 24, 3:30-5:30 pm at the Murdoch Center. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 3/14/2013

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 3/14/2013
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
                                                      Call for volunteers: Home Show, Earth Day
                                                      Grants for MG Projects

6:35pm-6:40pm                  Loni Shapiro – Volunteering at Hospice
6:40pm-6:45pm                  Introduction of speaker – Jim Mast

6:45pm-7:45pm                  Continuing Education
Connie Cowan                                   
Herbarium Project – Museum of Northern Arizona
7:45pm-8:00pm                  Refreshments - Charlotte Dodgson

8:00pm - 8:25pm                  Business Meeting – Debi Stalvey                 

CMGA logo
Arboretum and Plant Sale
T-shirts, etc. fundraiser
MG Approved Projects clarification
Grants for MG Projects
Fundraising ideas
Plant & Garden Sale
Earth Day Volunteers
Knapweed Pull
Benefits of membership - Nursery discounts
Pay Pal payment for membership

                                                      Financial report – Linda Guarino/Crys Wells
                                                      MG Program Happenings (class/home show) – Hattie Braun

                                                      MG Projects – Alison Coates/Loni Shapiro
                  Committee Reports:

                                                      Continuing Education – Jim Mast                                   
Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
8:25pm – 8:30pm                  Gardening Questions?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Soil-Based Bug Could Boost Mental Health

Another reason to garden!

Soil-Based Bug Could Boost Mental Health

Gardens are good for your brain—and bacteria may be the reason why, according to a University of Arizona researcher.

Read more at: