Coconino Master Gardener Association

Another beauty from Cindy Murray. Swallowtail butterfly on phlox.

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!

Friday, February 12, 2016

February CMGA Lecture - History of Fruit Trees at Slide Rock


 A sprayer and the Brown house in 1984
The speaker for our February meeting was Kathy Pendley Shaw. Kathy is the granddaughter of Frank Pendley who first homesteaded 58 acres of land in Oak Creek Canyon's Slide Rock. The Slide Rock Park today has more than 250,00 visitors each year. Many of the original buildings and trees (Arkansas Black Heritage Tree) remain there and are cared for by volunteers. He planted 13 varieties of apples, and raised 9 children. When he retired Kathy's father Tom continued to care for the trees each summer. The park now has 16 varieties of apples, peaches, apricots, and pears. Kathy continues to volunteer by caring for the trees with the Friends of Slide Rock. Their next volunteer day for pruning is on Feb. 25th from 9am-12pm. Contact Kathy if you want more information (

From the park web site:

This history is from the book Arizona State Parks: The Beginning Edited by Charles R. Eatherly. Filled with fascinating histories and stories, this spiral bound book is available from our Gift Catalog. Your purchase will directly support Arizona State Parks.

Frank Pendley homesteaded the land immediately south of Slide Rock in the early 1900’s and developed a large apple orchard along with vegetable crops. Tom Pendley, his son, continued to operate and manage the property, and in the 1980’s it was one of the largest parcels of land in Oak Creek Canyon in private ownership. In 1982, the family decided it was time to sell the property. When Governor Babbitt learned of this, he contacted the family to see about acquiring the property as a State Park. The Governor grew up in Flagstaff, had visited Slide Rock many times, and was well acquainted with the Pendley family. Tom Pendley told the Governor that he was reluctant to sell the land to a governmental entity because of the difficulties he had experienced in dealing with the Forest Service. At the same time Governor Babbitt was talking with the family, William G. Roe from the Nature Conservancy was corresponding with State Parks Director Mike Ramnes, to let him know the property adjacent to Slide Rock was for sale.

In 1983, Governor Babbitt created the Arizona Parklands Foundation and appointed members comprised of business, political and community leaders. In creating this Foundation, the Governor was implementing one of the recommendations that had come from the Governor’s Task Force on Parks and Recreation in Arizona, a special task force the Governor had appointed the year before. The Foundation was a non-profit corporation charged with acquiring property and receiving gifts for State Parks. All land the Foundation acquired would be donated to Arizona State Parks. Working with the Parks Board, a list of desirable properties for future State Parks was developed, including the Pendley property. After two years of negotiations, an agreement was reached with the Pendley family for sale of the property. This was the first property acquired by the Foundation.


Now the Foundation had to come up with the necessary funding to complete the transaction. The Governor assisted the Foundation in working with four major banks to secure a loan to acquire the property. The banks that agreed to loan the $4,000,000 were The Valley National Bank, First InterState Bank, Arizona Bank, and United Bank of Arizona. Shortly after the loan was secured, the Foundation purchased the Pendley property on February 7, 1985, for $3,600,000.

The Foundation soon learned they were not going to get the anticipated donations to support the acquisition of the Pendley property. The Foundation, Arizona State Parks Board, and the Governor, working in concert, requested that the legislature provide funding for the acquisition.

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