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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Herb Festival

On Sunday, July 29, at 10am, the Arboretum at Flagstaff will hold a Herb Festival. Contact them to register ( Attached is a link to a flyer.

Speaker for July 10, CMGA Meeting

Speaker for July CMGA Meeting

Gail Morris is a Maricopa Master Gardener,  project coordinator for Southwest Monarch Study and Conservation Specialist for Monarch  The title of her talk is ‘Creating Monarch Waystations and Butterfly Gardens’.   Monarch waystations are refuges that provide resources necessary for monarch butterflies and their offspring when they make their annual migration. She will also talk about attracting and providing habitat for other butterflies. 

Hattie Braun
University of Arizona
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Coconino County Cooperative Extension
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004

Phone:  928-774-1868  x 170

Native Plant Society

Greetings Arizona Native Plant Society member,

The latest beautiful edition of The Plant Press has arrived!  Please click on the link below, or copy and paste it into your address bar and enjoy!  If you save it to your own computer, it's also easier to read at your leisure.   We hope everyone is enjoying summer, and staying cool!

As always, feel free to contact me with questions about your membership anytime.


Claire McLane
Administrative Assistant
Arizona Native Plant Society

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Volunteer Needed - Sunshine Rescue Mission Garden

One Master Gardener wanted for help at the Sunshine Rescue Mission.  We have 2 raised vegetable gardens at the Dorsey Manor location that need attention during the growing season.  We work on the gardens on Fridays, from 3 pm until 5 pm.  Dorsey Manor is located at 3 Cottage avenue on the corner of Cottage and Leroux.  Contact Jeff Best at (928) 853-6765

Straw Bale Gardening

On Thursday evening at our monthly meeting, Sue Madden presented "Straw Bale Gardening". Several people were interested in the formula for"conditioning" and others in the PowerPoint presentation. Below is the formula and a link to the PowerPoint.

If you are interested in learning more about Straw Bale Gardening there is a book titled "Straw Bale Gardening" by Joel Karsten,  Cool Springs Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2013. Cost is about $20 - less on Amazon. It has suggested crops and further detail.


 Link to PowerPoint

Loni shapiro

Friday, June 13, 2014

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 6/12/2014
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco
Welcome – Agenda – Hunter Kemmet gave a brief review of agenda for the evening              
Raffle Drawing Prize was Eatable landscape book won by Sue Madden
MG Project Grant Presentations – Loni Shapiro presented checks to some of the organizations present. Mountain School $300, Pioneer Museum $250, Pinon Community Garden $250, Killip Elementary School $103.50 and Lowell Observatory $529.
Introduction of speaker Ed Skiba
Continuing Education Sue Madden, Master Gardener was our guest speaker, presenting - Straw Bale Gardening.  She was born and raised in the “I’ve got black garden soil and I can grow anything” state of Montana, Susan now lives in the Flagstaff “suburb” of Munds Park, where she was a part-tine resident for 18 years and now has been a full-time resident for 9 years.  Prior to retirement, Susan lived in the Tempe area and worked at Arizona State University for 25 years. She is a master gardener and was a member of the 2012 winter class.  Susan volunteers at the Pinewood Fire Department where she maintains flower gardens designed and built as a trainee project along with Debbie Banta and Joy Salazar.  She also is a board member of the Pinewood Fire wise Team, and a certified member of the Coconino County CERTS group.
Refreshments by – Leslie Penick and Charlotte Dodgson
Raffle Drawing – Our last month’s winner was Lina Wallen
[Attachment(s) from Dorothy Lamm included below]
The Arboretum has sent this information about an interesting summer opportunity.  
Summer field workers, lab assistants, and volunteers are needed for a butterfly study.  This involves a stipend!!  Please read the attachment for details.
Dale Halbritter, a PhD student in Entomology from the University of Florida is investigating the ecology and biogeography of two unique mountain butterflies in Arizona. He will be traveling to the Flagstaff area on July 12th and is in need of some help with his field work though mid August. He will be staying most nights at the Merriam-Powell Research Station near The Arboretum and will have some lab space set up there. 
He would like to recruit at least two volunteers: 1 to accompany him in the field and help collect butterflies, and 1 to take care of the captive butterflies in the lab while he is away in the field. He has some small cash stipends for volunteers. 
Attached is the flyer! If you are interested, please email Dale at 
Thank you!
Kim Helfinstine
Volunteer Coordinator
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
(928) 774-1442 ext. 127

Weed Out Party

Hi everyone,
You're invited to a Weed Out Party at the SFDA Church -
Saturday 14th. June from 7[Hattie Braun] :00 till 9:30AM. 

We'll be starting a little early in the morning before it becomes too hot.  This week we are targeting Dalmatian toadflax, Diffuse knapweed, Cheatgrass and Yellow clover. As always, our experts, Dorothy Lam and Dan Deveer will be available to help identify the weeds.
Thank you weed warriors, who came, for your hard work last month.  We pulled 11 huge bags full.  If you've driven past the area that we weeded last month you will notice the pretty wild flowers emerging along the north-east and east parking lots.
If you're coming please remember to wear sun-block, bring your hat, gloves, a drink bottle and a hand tool for digging.
We will have water and a snack available on site.
Looking forward to seeing you all there.
... many hands make light work,
You are Loved,
-   Valerie

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 6/12/2014
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco
6:30pm-6:40pm Welcome – Agenda – Hunter Kemmet
                                                Brief review of agenda for the evening               
                                             Raffle – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win
                                                Drawing will be held after refreshments and before the business meeting
Prize:  Eatable landscape book
6:30pm-6:40p                 MG Project Grant Presentations – Loni Shapiro
o   Mountain School $300
o   Pioneer Museum $250
o   Pinon Community Garden $250
o   Killip Elementary School $103.50
o   Lowell Observatory $529
6:40pm – 6:45pm             Introduction of speaker Ed Skiba
6:45pm-7:30pm Continuing Education
Sue Madden, Master Gardener
Straw Bale Gardening
7:30pm-7:55pm Refreshments – Leslie Penick and Charlotte Dodgson
7:55pm-8:00pm Raffle Drawing – last month’s winner was Lina Wallen

Monday, June 2, 2014


Greetings, All,  
Ever since 2010 the Master Gardeners and AZ Native Plant Society members have been fighting a battle with Diffuse knapweed at the Pioneer Museum.  All I can say is WE ARE WINNING THAT BATTLE.  Thank you, weed warriors, so much.  
A few days ago I checked the grounds, and there is still work to do, but nothing like the 20 huge, heavy bags a day and that we were removing during at least 5 weed outs a year.  
Let's get 'em while they're young!!  Two weed outs are planned - Saturday, May 31 and Friday, June 6; both days from 9 until noon.  Come when you can, and leave when you must.  (MGers, this project will count toward your volunteer hours!!)  We will talk about weed identification and proper weeding techniques to reduce disturbance to the soil. 

Please bring your favorite weeding tool, in this case a small shovel works very well, sunscreen, hat, gloves, a long sleeve shirt to protect from the sun, maybe a snack, and WATER.  I will provide bags, so the grounds look nice for visitors and festival-goers.  
I hope to see many of you at the Pioneer Museum, 2340 North Fort Valley Road, right next to Sechrist Elementary School.  
Dorothy Lamm 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Native Plant Society Monthly Meeting & Walk

Tuesday, June 17, 2014: Kirstin Olmon and Susan Lamb, “Nature’s Notebook”
Kirstin and Susan will introduce Nature’s Notebook, a national program in which amateur and professional naturalists track local phenology: the emergence and blooming of plants and the behavior of birds and other animals, including insects. The program engages individuals, educators, and community groups in learning about local plants and animals and contributing to science. These long-term observations of plants and animals generate data for scientific discovery and decision-making.
Kirstin Olmon is a botany research assistant at the Museum of Northern Arizona. She is the manager of the McDougall Herbarium and curator of the living roof atop the Easton Collect Center.  She is a recent graduate of the botany master’s program at Northern Arizona University and has worked as a field botanist for the Diablo Trust’s Integrated Monitoring for Sustainability Program and the Grand Canyon Trust. 
Susan Lamb is the local author of over two dozen books on natural history. She originally came to northern Arizona to serve as Desert View District naturalist at Grand Canyon National Park, where she acquired a lasting curiosity and affection for regional plant communities. Susan keeps a yearly almanac of over two hundred native plant species in the Flagstaff area.