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, May 22, 2015

New Volunteer Opportunity

Need volunteers to help!
Colton Community Garden 

Saturdays, 9am - 11am (however, this Saturday May 23rd will be from 11am - 1pm)

Activities include:  Building raised beds with Kim's Costion's lasagna techniques, putting up burlap along fence line to obstruct praise dog views, laying down chicken wire at bottom of beds, and planting

Contact Lissa Buyske - 928-300-0007

Thursday, May 21, 2015

CMGA Summer Garden Tours

The Coconino County Master Gardeners are planning two garden tours this year. The one on July 25th is open to the public, and the other on the September 18th is in conjunction with the gardening conference.
Do you have any great gardens to suggest for consideration?  We have a few lined up, but need more. We could use one in University Heights or nearby, or two that are nearby each other. The September tour will start at Warner's, so we would like three gardens in the Continental or Amberwood area.   
If someone is willing to suggest their garden for consideration, I will go out for a visit, take some photos, and explain how the particular tour would work. The committee will make the final decision on the gardens for the tours. 
Thank you.
Colleen Tucker 

Gardening Gone Wild

If your like me your spending too much time in the garden at this time of the year, and your body  is reacting to it.  In my case, my back is telling me to rest and slow down. I found this article by Fran Sorin filled with great ideas. "10 tips for and benefits of gardening in 30 minutes" -
I tried some of Fran's ideas and I found I got more done and enjoyed it more. We are all busy and often when in the garden rush to get things done, and therefore don't reek the benefits. Try some mindful gardening!
Check out this web site for more ideas and great photography.

Loni Shapiro

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NPS/USFS Ranger Partnership Events May 22-25

Subject: NPS/USFS Ranger Partnership Events May 22-25

Ranger Walks & Talks Event Calendar
May 29-May 31, 2015
NPS/USFS Ranger Partnership

Campground Programs
· Bonito Campground, Friday, May 29
8:00-8:45 pm. The Ways and Whys of the Universe. Come join a ranger at the amphitheater for a 45  minute chat and star viewing, and discover the wonders of our universe that have
captivated people’s curiosities since the Stone Age.

· Dairy Springs Campground, Saturday, May 30
3:00-3:45 pm. Nature Walk. Join a ranger for a family-friendly 1/2 mile stroll along the Dairy Springs Loop Trail. No dogs please. Meet at the amphitheater.

· Pine Grove Campground, Saturday, May 30
8:00-8:45 pm. That Stinks! Skunks in Nature. What should you do if you encounter a skunk in nature? Come to find out more about these animals so you can protect yourself and your pets and learn how to reduce the risk of getting skunked. At the campground amphitheater.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gardens for Humanity Event/Educational Program

What Can the Cottonwood Head Start Demonstration Garden Teach us About Sustainability?
Flyer Head Start Garden

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 5/14/15

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 5/14/15
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N San Francisco

6:30pm – 6:35pm        Welcome – Jim Mast, President

Announcements          Meeting Raffle
o   $1 each or 6 for $5 (book and toilet paper rolls)
o   Drawing held after refreshments

6:35 – 6:40pm             Introduction of Speaker – Ed Skiba

6:40pm – 7:45pm        Continuing Education – Jim Mast - Vegetable Gardening in a
                                    Small Space - Community Garden
Jim talked about growing vegetables in a 4 x 20 ft. community garden space. He and his family gardened at the Juniper St. Community Garden which is behind the church. Fees per year are $35 and there is one plot left for this season. He covered starting in April through finishing at the end of Oct. The work included testing and amending the soil, planting seeds and plants (some crops seeded 3 times), amendments and fertilizing, use of season extenders, and tips for getting a good harvest. Jim also added some tips on growing tomatoes at home in pots. If you were unable to attend or want more detail info on products check out Jim's web site (
Bed before amending soil
In August after planted and grown
7:45 – 8:00pm             Refreshments and Raffle Drawing
                                    Thanks to Andrea Guerrette and

Friday, May 15, 2015

Native Plant Society Monthly Talk and Walk

Climate change represents a huge threat to southwestern species and ecosystems. Yet in our public sphere it's hard even to get some people to acknowledge that it might be happening—let alone do anything about it. Why is this issue so hard to grasp? Rooted in contemporary social science research, this presentation will take a look at why climate change represents such a challenge at the political and even psychological level. 

Here is your reminder for the May walk.
The Slide Fire walk on Saturday, May 23 does not have to be postponed because of all the lovely rain we've been having.  Here are the plans:   
On Saturday, May 23, visit a Slide Fire location with Coconino Forest Botanist Debbie Crisp. Debbie has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Forestry, both from NAU.  She is the Coconino National Forest Botanist, and a member of several Burned Area Emergency Response Teams to evaluate post-fire conditions, including the Slide Fire team. 
There are always lots of interesting things to see in fire areas that we don’t find at any other time. 
Carpooling is required for this field trip. Meet at the Arizona State Credit Union at the corner of South Beaver Street and Butler Avenue at 9:00 am. We’ll be driving on dirt roads. 

Please bring the usual appropriate sunscreen, water, snacks, lunch, footwear, gear, and money for carpooling, and dress appropriately for the weather.
 Contact Dorothy Lamm for more information (

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Protect the Grand Canyon

Info from the Sierra Club about the Grand Canyon

Protect the Grand Canyon! Your opinion is needed NOW.Grand Canyon is threatened by a massive development outside its southern gate and a proposed expansion of the Grand Canyon Airport, to benefit the mega-development at Tusayan.
Your voice is necessary during the next few weeks to stop the airport expansion AND the massive commercial development it will support. Please attend one of the public meetings listed below and send in emails opposing these horrible plans. Thank you for caring about Grand Canyon!

1) Take Action: Oppose Airport "Upgrade" at Grand Canyon
A plan to funnel even more flights to Grand Canyon's south rim is advancing. Once again, the state of Arizona tells us that it is strapped for cash but wants to spend $2.3 million of state and local dollars -- and $22.8 million of federal dollars -- to dig more wells at and bring bigger jets to Grand Canyon National Park Airport. The plan will bring more noise, pollution, night lighting, and water depletion to the rim of Grand Canyon.
Please speak up on this issue! You can email Comments are due before 5 p.m. on May 26. Tell the Arizona Department of Transportation to invest our money in things that will benefit all of us, such as bike lanes and mass transit.
Download talking points at
View the entire transportation plan at
You can also participate in the ADOT Transportation Plan Hearing in Chino Valley:
* Friday, May 15 at 9:00 am at Town of Chino Valley Council Chambers, 202 North State Route 89, Chino Valley

Monday, May 11, 2015

San Francisco de Asis Volunteer Opportunity.

SFdA Love A Lot Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Invasive Plant Education & Eradication Demonstration (for new parish and community volunteers) and Weed Out - main culprits  are Diffuse Knapweed, Dalmation Toadflax, Mullein and Kochia.  Also helps to be able to  identify and protect native wildflower seedlings (including Gaillardia, Mexican Hat, Flax, Poppy, Primrose)   1st and 3rd Saturdays from 9 am - 11am May through August or September (except July will be 2nd and 3rd Saturdays) and all Wednesdays from 4 -6pm.
    Bring your hat, water, gloves, sunscreen and favorite shovel or hand tool.  Trashbags, some tools and gloves available
  • Plan and Create a Demonstration Rock Garden along the south driveway. This is on a slope (one area with large rocks - other slopey area without) and could be a fun challenge. Need native plants and groundcovers who can survive without irrigation.  
Contact Valerie or Dot sfdalovealot@  or Dot 928-640-1955.
Address is 1600 E Route 66 - turn North off Route 66 at Ponderosa Parkway by Jiffy Lube follow the road up to the church.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Preventative Search and Rescue Training from the Flagstaff Ranger District


My name is Brian Poturalski and I work with the Forest Service at the Flagstaff Ranger District.  We have partnered with Friends of Northern Arizona Forest (FoNAF), a non-profit group to develop a Preventative Search & Rescue program for the Kachina Peaks Wilderness.  It’s my understanding that you have an interest to be involved with the program.

In a nutshell, the intent is to educate visitors about the unique challenges that hiking strenuous trails at high altitude can encounter and hopefully influence them to make good decisions. Volunteers will be present at popular trailheads like the Humphrey’s and Kachina trails during peak use periods such as weekends and holidays.  They will be dressed in official uniforms and conduct outreach at information tables as well as patrol points.  The will provide information on proper gear to be worn and on recognizing altitude sickness, staying hydrated, bringing the proper food, and being aware of weather conditions, especially the possibility of lightning.  Volunteers will also provide general information about the area including less challenging alternative trails, general wilderness information and ‘Leave No Trace’ ethics.

With that in mind, we have our initial training scheduled for Saturday, May 16 (9:30 am to 12:30 pm) at the Flagstaff Ranger District (5075 N. Hwy. 89) – located in east Flagstaff near the Mall.  I recognize this is short notice, but I’m hopeful that you and/or others you may know that might be interested can make the training (please share this as you see fit).  Our goal is to initiate the program the weekend of Memorial Day.  If you have any questions/comments please contact Laura James at 527-8260 or Finally, we will be sending out an agenda for the meeting early next week.

Kind regards,

Brian Poturalski
Recreation and Wilderness Staff Officer
Forest Service
Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff Ranger District
5075 N. Highway 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

FMC Courtyard Garden - volunteer opportunity!

Hi Master Gardeners,

I am looking for a few folks to help me with the fledgling courtyard garden at the FMC.This garden is in its' third season and is located on the third floor of the Women and Infants Center at the hospital. The courtyard is bound in by the sky-walk on one side and the Women and Infant unit on the other. All plants are grown in containers. It is a small piece of natural respite within the hospital and it has a good deal of potential for growth and design. This summer we are having a local artist, Karen Knorowski, mosaic a garden bench for us, which will add year round color. I am also hoping to add two moveable plantar/trellises and grow some ornamental gourds.
I am looking for 2-3 volunteers who would be able to spend @ .5 hours per week watering, deadheading, sweeping, checking the drip lines.... I especially need help in the summer months of June- September. Patients, families and staff are so thankful to have the space; it makes for a really positive volunteering experience!
Any volunteers have to go through the FMC volunteer orientation which is similar to the training the Olivia white Hospice volunteers must go through. If interested please contact me, Ann Brown at 938.863.8254 or

 Thanks, Ann

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weed OUT!

A message from Dorothy Lamm
If you want lunch, please RSVP by May 3.  Hattie

Greetings, All,
Volunteers are needed at the Pioneer Museum and Coconino Center for the Arts on Saturday, May 9.

In 2010 volunteers from the Master Gardeners and AZ Native Plant Society began a sustained effort to eradicate a huge, dense population of Diffuse knapweed on the properties.  In the early years we gathered many times a year, and hauled out dozens of huge, heavy bags of weeds.  Thank you.

This year the job continues, but the invasive plants are under control and manageable, and two work days are likely all we will need.  We will "Get 'em when they're young."  We especially need Master Gardeners and AZ Native Plant Society members to lead the charge in small work groups and keep novices on track.  Can you help? 

A short orientation to Diffuse knapweed and a few other on-site invasive plants will begin the day, and proper eradication techniques will be demonstrated.  Information cards on non-native, invasive weeds will be made available to volunteers via email. 

WHENSaturday, May 9.  From 9 until noon. 
WHAT:  Invasive Plant Education and Weed-out!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
WHERE:  Pioneer Museum and Coconino Center for the Arts on Fort Valley Road (Highway 180) next to Sechrist School. 
WHY:  So native plants can be restored to the area, and seeds will no longer be spread all over the city and county on the tires of visitors. 
WHAT TO BRING:  Shovel or hand trowel; gloves; water; mid-morning snacks; clothing appropriate to the weather,  sunscreen.  Wear closed-toe shoes.  If you like to rake, you can help to rake up and bag pine needles.
WHAT NOT TO BRING:  Lunch.  Lunch will be provided by the Flagstaff Family Food Center for those who want one. 

RSVP:  If you would like the lunch, please respond to this email by Sunday, May 3, so we can order the correct number of lunches.  If you don't want the lunch, just show up. 

We're looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, May 9.  

Posted by D. Lamm  

Terra Birds

New post from Terra Birds

The Garden Start shares are officially SOLD OUT for 2015, but if you know of others that would like to sign up for a future year, have them send me an email at and I will put them on the mailing list and never miss out again. Also let them know that select varieties will be available for purchase at Flagstaff Native Plant and Seed and the Flagstaff Community Farmer's Market at the Flagstaff Foodlink Backyard Gardener Booth.
There are still plots available at the community gardens, please contact to learn more or to reserve a plot.
Also, many thanks for a great Seed Swap several weeks ago, I think that it was the biggest one yet and I saw many Garden Starts member there. Read more about the even at the Daily Sun article that came out on Thursday,
See below for other happenings around town, and have a great weekend! - Regan

Flagstaff Foodlink will again be hosting a Backyard Gardener Booth at the Flagstaff Community Farmer's Market. Have extra veggies that you would like to sell? Find us as at the market, sell your produce, and hang out with fellow growers. The idea is to spread the word that you can grow food in Flagstaff, despite our climate, and make a little extra cash on the side, and not have to bring your own tent and table. We hope to be there every weekend of the season. Please get in touch with Foodlink if you are interested in participating,
-There will be a film screening of Food Chains as part of Speak Up at Firecreek on Monday May 4th at 5:00 p.m.

-Local First will be hosting the next Balle Conference in Phoenix in June, it will includes sessions about food systems, there is still plenty of time to register, to learn more, go to: