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, January 26, 2016

Deciduous Fruit Tree Pruning Workshops

Jeff Schalau, Agent Agriculture & Natural Resources Yavapai County, is teaching two fruit tree pruning workshops that will be held on Saturdays in February. He would love to have Coconino MGs attend. For more information go to:
The workshops are being held in Camp Verde and Chino Valley. Check out the web site for details on location. If you can't attend there is also an link to an online video demo at the site.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Volunteering at the Arboretum

The Arboretum at Flagstaff 2016 OPEN volunteer dates. It is not required to be a member of MG's or ACE. Anyone is welcomed to join us:

January 23, February 6, February 20, March 5, March 26, April 2, April 9, and April 23

Interested volunteers must RSVP with the date they plan to attend to: ,, & 

The plan for each scheduled date is as follows:
1.       Arrive at the Arboretum at 10am and meet Horticulture staff at the main greenhouse-building with the blue roof. Plan to work until 2pm.
2.       Volunteers should always dress in layers for outdoor work (even though some or all members may be working indoors in the greenhouses with us on certain dates).
3.       Everyone is encouraged to bring a personal refillable water bottle and snacks with them.
4.       We will provide all tools, gloves, instructions, etc. necessary for work projects.
5.       Everyone will sign in on our volunteer forms so we can be sure to document your service hours & generous contributions towards the Arboretum at Flagstaff!

I plan to be here to work with you all on January 23. I will then be on maternity leave for a few months & from February into April you will be working with Gayle Nance, Horticulturalist, & Hailey Sherwood, Horticulture staff member. They are both cc'ed in this message in addition to our new Volunteer Coordinator for the Arboretum, Shannon Benjamin. Feel free to contact any one of us with questions or for organizing logistics in preparation for your service dates.

Docent Training 2016 kicks off on Friday, April 1st with a potluck and official welcome. No fooling- save the date! The first full day of training begins on April 16th and runs 10am-2:30pm every Wednesday through May 25th. More info to come, but please let me know if you have any questions or would like to get signed up. This is going to be great fun and I can't wait!

Thanks for your interest in helping us here!

Christi Sorrell
Director of Horticulture
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
4001 S Woody Mountain Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ   86005

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Follow-up Article: Natural vs. GE Foods

For those who attended Linda Guarino's GMO lecture in November, she has written two articles for the Gardening Etcetera column for the AZ Daily Sun. This is a link to the 2nd:

Check it out!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

CMGA January 2016, Meeting Minutes

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Minutes
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church - 1601 N. San Francisco

Attendance – 27 people were in attendance

Welcome – Jim Mast

·         President’s Annual Report – Jim highlighted several of the CMGA activities including the calendar, the 2015 home show, the summer garden tour, the seed library, the garden conference and the fall clean-up project.  There were 96 paid members in 2015. 
·         See the blog for the complete report:
·         Introduction of 2016 officers -  Jim Mast-President, Ed Skiba-VP, Sue Madden-Treasurer, Jackie Clark-Secretary

Speakers – introduced by Loni Shapiro.  The speakers were 2015 grant recipients

·         Monarch project at the Arboretum at Flagstaff – Sheila Murray
·         Sunshine Rescue Mission – Jeff Best
·         Olivia White Hospice Home – Linda Guarino
·         Grow Flagstaff Seed Library – Jackee Alston
·         Michael Moore Native Medicinal Garden – Judy Springer

·         Refreshments provided by Sherline Alexander and Jackie Clark
·         Raffle prizes provided by Loni Shapiro, Leslie Penick and Jackie Clark; $23.00 raised

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gardens for Humanity Event

Red Earth _ Gardens for Humanity Event

Come celebrate the arts with, Red Earth Theatre and Gardens for Humanity, two of our area's great non-profits.
Share the love on Valentine's Eve!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Desert Botanical Garden

Looking for way to satisfy your lack of gardening in the winter or just warming up a bit. Check out some of the offerings at the Desert Botanical Garden. Or just visit and enjoy the garden before it gets to hot.

Sonoran Light - Bruce Munro
Jan. & Feb. Wed.- Sat., from 5-10pm and Jan. 17 and Feb. 14
March thru May nightly 6-11pm
Purchase tickets (

Return to the Desert with 25 years of painting by Dyana Hesson, botanical artist.
Jan. 29-May 22, 10am-5pm
Free with admission or your Arboretum membership

Spring Music in the Garden
Fridays, Feb. 4-May 6, 7-9pm
Purchase tickets (

The Seasonal Table
Food, Drink, and Music
Thurs. Feb. 13, March 3 and April 7, 6-9pm
Purchase tickets (dbg.or)

Rock the Presidents
Musical Review in the garden of 223 years of the American Presidency
Monday, Feb. 15, 11am-2pm
Purchase tickets (

Friday, January 15, 2016

Speakers for the January CMGA Meeting

Olivia White Hospice Home - new shed

For our first meeting of 2016 we had 5 presenters from projects that we had funded last year. Last year we funded over $2700 to 10 different projects. 5 that were not able to join us are:   Riordan Mansion, Colton Community Garden/MNA, Pinyon Community Garden, Lowell Observatory, and St. Francis de Assisi.

 For the evening the 1st presenter was Sheila Murray, a researcher from the Arboretum at Flagstaff. They were funded for their Milkweed for Monarch Project. It is a large project that we provided funding for signage that began in 2015. 

Milkweed for monarchs
To collect local varieties of milkweed and then propagate in seed production beds here at the Arboretum, from which the seeds generated will be available to the public and landowners for their restoration and gardening needs.
The goal is to increase the amounts of native milkweed around Flagstaff to make a more hospitable place for the Monarch.   (from the Arboretum)
They will also have a new Butterfly House - local species that will be available at opening day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, January 14, 2016 – 6:30pm
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco
6:30pm – 6:50pm             Welcome – Jim Mast
·         President Annual Report
·         Introduce 2014 Officers -  Jim Mast-President, Ed Skiba-VP, Sue Madden-Treasurer, Jackie Clark-Secretary

6:50pm – 6:55pm           Introduction of speakers Loni Shapiro
6:55pm-7:45pm              Continuing Education  Grant Recipients: 1) Arboretum at Flagstaff –Sheila Murray; 2) Sunshine Rescue Mission – Jeff Best; 3) Olivia White Hospice Home – Linda Guarino; 4) Grow Flagstaff Seed Library – Jackee Alston; 5) Michael Moore Native Medicinal Garden – Judy Springer

15 minute break

7:45pm-8:00pm               Refreshments provided by Sherline Alexander and Jackie Clark
                                            Raffle Prize Drawing – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Coconino Master Gardener Training Begins

Apply now for the spring Master Gardener class

Applications are now being accepted for the Coconino County Master Gardener Training Course. This course is part of a nationwide certification program that provides horticulture training to volunteers for the purpose of enabling them to help their communities through horticulture education.

This course is designed for those who are interested in learning more about high elevation gardening and who are willing to share this knowledge with others. Participants will learn the keys to successful gardening in high elevation environments. The 15-week course covers basic botany, soils, plant propagation, plant problem diagnosis, insect management, pruning, fruit tree care, vegetable gardening, ornamental plants, composting and urban forestry.

The Master Gardener course will meet Tuesdays from 1:00-4:30 p.m. starting February 2 at the Coconino Public Health Bldg. 2625 N. King St., Flagstaff. Registration for the program is $200.

Class participants become Coconino Master Gardeners by volunteering 50 hours of community service providing horticultural information, advice and support. Possible projects include: answering garden questions, staffing a table at the community market, writing articles for the newspaper, giving presentations on gardening, assisting local schools and non-profit organizations with gardening expertise, or volunteering at an arboretum. The Master Gardener Program is offered through the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
Contact Coconino Cooperative Extension at 774-1868, ext. 110, to request an application or for more information, or e-mail Class size is limited.

Classes will also begin in Page on Feb. 1. Contact the Extension for details.