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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Open Community Facebook Page for Flagstaff Gardener

I am a graduate student in the Sustainable Communities program and have recently started an open community Facebook page for Flagstaff gardeners.

The Facebook page operates as a public forum for sharing extra seeds, garden supplies, plants, etc. It doesn't take the place of event-based seed exchanges, like the NAU sponsored one on March 9, but rather functions as an ongoing exchange.

We have almost 90 members, and would be really excited to include Master Gardeners in the group!

You can find the page by searching Facebook for "Flagstaff Plant and Seed Exchange."

Please share with all of your gardening contacts!

Thank you, 
Mary McCarthy
Sustainable Communities Program, NAU

CMGA Meeting Minutes 2/13/14

Coconino Master Gardener Association (CMGA)
Meeting Minutes 2/13/14
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

Charlotte Dodgson on “House Plants”
Charlotte has been a resident of Flagstaff for 9 years.  She is a master gardener, class OF 2010 and is the CMGA VP.   Charlotte works as the volunteer coordinator for the Arizona Historical Society at the Pioneer Museum and Riordan Mansion.  Charlotte and Dave Brimhall are the team leads for restoring the gardens at the Riordan Mansion where they make and sell recycled glass light catchers to sell in the gift shop.  Proceeds from the light catchers are donated to the Riordan garden project and goes towards the garden supplies. Charlotte also volunteers as the Treasurer for National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Flagstaff Chapter 1699; is a Driver Training Instructor for AARP and is a co-chair in Northern Arizona for the Arizona Alzheimer's Association. 
New Master Gardeners!  Hattie Braun presented Angela Fritz, Joan Alcaron and Lori Tamblingson with their master gardener certificate and name badge. Congratulations!
Regan Emmons announce the CSA is ready to take applications for this season’s veggie starts.  She made herself available during the break for anyone interested.  Regan also announce that the Arboretum is looking for volunteers.  Educational training opportunities; Docent training sessions start March 4th and are held Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 1:30-3:30pm in March and April.  Volunteer Orientation is Thursday April 11th from 9am-12pm.  Field Trip Leader training sessions are on Friday March 7th, 14th, and 28th from 1:30pm-3:30pm. For information or sign up contact Kim Helfinstine at 928-774-1442 x227 or email  There is also Raptor program volunteers needed; contact for more information on this program.

Monday, February 17, 2014

MG Meeting 2/13/14 Agenda

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 2/13/2014
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

6:30pm-6:35pm           Welcome – Agenda - Hunter Kemmet
                                                Brief review of agenda for the evening

6:35pm-6:40pm           Raffle – $1 each or 6 for $5
                                                Must be present to win
                                                Drawing will be held after refreshments and
before the business meeting
House plant provided by Charlotte Dodgson
6:40pm-6:45pm           Introduction of speaker – Ed Skiba

6:45pm-7:45pm           Continuing Education
                                                Charlotte Dodgson
House Plants
7:45pm-7:55pm           Refreshments
Ann Eagan and Christine Orr

7:55pm-8:00pm           Raffle Drawing

Monday, February 10, 2014

Garden Start Seedling CSA for 2014

Happy New Year Garden Start members!
Its come upon us fast, but its garden start csa time!!! I am grateful that Helen Sisk will be our grower again. Lissa Busyke will be on board to help Helen this year. I am handing the torch over to Deja Walker, who will be our registration and volunteer coordinator this year. Welcome Deja and Lissa! 

There will be a couple of changes to the program this year:
1) We are going to use 4-packs in stead of 6-packs. This means that you will receive 4 plants of EVERY crop. There will be a total of 30 crops, plus seeds and onion bulbs.
2) We are opening registration up ONLY to 2013 Garden Start members for the first month. Please feel free to register, and we'll put you on the waiting list. After March 1, anyone will be able to register.
3) For the first time, we are offering partial scholarships for those who demonstrate financial need. You will have the opportunity to contribute to this program when you register. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to this program, no amount is too small.
I have attached the registration form, the scholarship form and the 2014 crop list.
We will send out the pick-up schedule in the next couple of weeks!
Also, please let us know if you would like to volunteer in the greenhouse, or during pick-up days this year!

We are looking forward to another great year!

Garden Starts CSA (community supported agriculture)Flagstaff Foodlink (501c3)  Growing food, growing community

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentines Day Ideas for Gardeners

Looking for some ideas for Valentines Day?
Check out the latest entries on the Gardening Gone Wild blog. The last two entries were both fun. Add this site to your favorites list. They have great stories and wonderful photos.

Gardening Gone Wild

My Spiny Valentine - 2014-02-06 00:54:43-05
It’s funny how prickly pear cactus pads form hearts. I wonder what the plant is trying to tell us: “Be mine but don’t touch me?” This last is a mammillaria. (You can call her Ma’am.) Here’s a  bit of trivia: I used to think that mammillaria got their name because they’re rounded like mammillary glands. […]
The post My Spiny Valentine appeared first on Gardening Gone Wild. Debra Lee Baldwin

Loni Shapiro

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spring Schedule for the the Arboretum

The Arboretum at Flagstaff begins their spring schedule of activities in March.

Docent training will begin at the Arboretum beginning on March 4th through April 30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 130pm-330pm in the Walter Reichardt living room. If you are interested in participating please call Regan Emmons at 928-774-1442x110 or e-mail at
Attached is the schedule of classes being offered. LINK. The cost is $50. Also attached is a LINK to the Docent Commitment and Benefits Document.

If you find yourself enjoying those tours where there are lots of kids, consider becoming a Field Trip Leader and help with school field trips. Leading children around the arboretum is a BLAST!!!! Those training days will be on March 7, March 14, and March 28 from 130pm to 4pm at the Arboretum (more details on this training to come).

Current volunteers and docents will again be offered monthly Brown Bag Lectures beginning on April 1. Deb Noel will be talking about "Historical Gardens and Botanists". These lectures are from 12pm-1pm and you are encouraged to bring your lunch. A schedule for the season will be available at a later date. Some of these events are field trips and directions will be included.

For those who are already docents a refresher will be offered on April 11, from 130pm to 330pm in The Walter Reichart living room. RSVP to  You are also welcome to attend any of the new docent lectures.

If you are interested in becoming an Arboretum volunteer spring orientation will be from 930am-1130am on April 11 in the Walter Reichart living room.

The Arboretum opens on May 1 and will be open this year 6 days a week. Closed on Tuesdays. Tell your friends, neighbors, and those you garden with. Spread the word!

Loni Shapiro
Docent & Volunteer
Arboretum at Flagstaff