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, August 31, 2018

AZ Trail Day Flagstaff




FLAGSTAFF, AZ- Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 8 when the biggestgathering of Arizona Trail friends comes together to celebrate Arizona Trail Day and the50th Anniversary of the National Trail System Act at Buffalo Park from 10 am to 2 pm.

This is the fifth year the Arizona Trail Association have organized this festive event, withthis year’s Trail Day being presented by Realty Executives of Flagstaff.

This free, family-friendly event will feature a variety of hands-on activities, live music
from Flagstaff’s own Viola & The Brakemen, over 40 exhibitors and local vendors, an
extensive outdoor gear raffle, craft beer from THAT Brewery and Wanderlust Brewing,
as well as presentations from trail professionals and environmental educators. This year
the Arizona Trail Association welcomes the Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat
Initiative on-site with their interactive displays from a diverse group of individuals and
organizations who are working to promote the creation, protection, and registration of
pollinator habitat across Northern Arizona! This year is also being promoted as a Zero
Waste event, where recycled, reusable and compostable items are used and encouraged
for food and drink.

The Arizona Trail Association’s mission is to protect, maintain, enhance, promote and
sustain the Arizona Trail as a unique encounter with the land. It is a complete non-
motorized path, stretching 800 diverse miles across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. It
links deserts, mountains, canyons, forests, communities and people, and as it makes its
way through the Gateway Community of Flagstaff, attendees can experience the beauty
and relevance of this treasured trail right inside Buffalo Park.

For more detailed information about the Arizona Trail Association, sponsors, exhibitors,
vendors, business partners and activities please visit
flagstaff/. Please contact Tamara McDonald at or 520-591-8432 for

event details.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Natural History Institute Talk

One of the most fundamental pursuits for ecologists is cataloging and characterizing the patterns of life on Earth. Traditionally, this was completed via direct observation or capture of species, which typically includes months of field work conducted by professionals trained to sample particular taxonomic groups (e.g., botanists, ornithologists, entomologists). However, all organisms, from bacteria to humans, leave a genetic fingerprint in their environment, and recent technological advances in environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis are allowing researchers detect these signals in air, water, and soil. 

Join us for an introduction to eDNA as a monitoring tool, and an exciting first look at our results from a summer spent investigating patterns of fish and wildlife eDNA on the Verde River.

KATIE BENSON, Assistant Professor of Biology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Katie grew up in Maryland on the outskirts of Washington D.C., and attended Clarkson University, a science and engineering school in Potsdam, New York for her B.S. (Environmental Science and Policy), M.S. (Environmental Science and Engineering), and Ph.D. degrees (Interdisciplinary Biology and Biotechnology). Broadly trained as a conservation biologist, her expertise includes aquatic ecology, wildlife and fisheries biology, and ecological restoration. She is currently the chair of the Wildlife Science program at Embry-Riddle. 

HILLARY EATON, Assistant Professor of Biology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Hillary is the chair of the Forensic Biology program at Embry-Riddle. She holds a B.S. in Veterinary Science from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Oregon State University. Outside of academia, she has worked as a research microbiologist for government agencies and the military, specializing in bioremediation, antimicrobial resistance, and environmental and microbial forensics. 

MATTHEW VALENTE, Collections Manager, Natural History Institute; Adjunct Faculty, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Matt is a conservation biologist that has expertise in botany (B.S. in Botany, Auburn University), conservation genetics (M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee), and paleoecology. Matt currently manages the scientific collections at the Natural History Institute and teaches genetics at Embry-Riddle

Native Plant Society Monthly Meeting

At our next monthly meeting, Dr. Kolb will discuss threats to ponderosa pine forests in northern Arizona, strategies to mitigate threats, and anticipated future forest conditions. Tom is Professor of Forest Ecophysiology in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University, where he has worked for the past 25 years. Tom teaches courses in plant identification, forest ecology, physiology, and forest health; advises graduate students; and conducts research. Tom’s research has been shaped by northern Arizona’s landscape, the land of drought and fire. Most of his research at NAU has focused on impacts of stresses such as drought, wildfire, and insect attacks on southwestern forests, including riparian, woodland, pine/oak and mixed conifer ecosystems. In addition, he conducts ecophysiological studies of sedges, grasses, herbs, and desert shrubs, because a forest is more than just trees. He currently is most focused on understanding whether and how forest management can mitigate negative impacts of climate warming on forests.

Our meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 18 at the Shepherd of the Hills Church, 1601 N. San Francisco Street, beginning at 7 p.m.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Hoop House Workshop

The first of two hoop house workshops will be this Saturday, August 25 from 9-11 AM at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Colton Community Garden. This is a working workshop. During this first workshop we will assemble the structure, plumb and square it and get it ready for covering. Lots of hands on jobs; holes to dig, drilling, bolting, etc. Hope to see you there! Carol Fritzinger is leading this project.
In a couple of weeks we will schedule phase two to cover the structure and build end walls. Should be tons of fun and a great opportunity to learn how to construct a hoop house.

The materials for the hoop house were purchased via an agreement with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Beginning Farmer Program. It will serve as an example of a hoop house that can handle lots of snow. Hopefully we'll get enough snow to test it this coming winter.

Fritz and Hattie

Friday, August 24, 2018

Ponderosa Pine Needle Composting

For those of you that heard Cindy Sparks Brueks gave us a short presentation at our last CMGA meeting about composting ponderosa pine needles. She is a San Diego Master Gardener that recently moved to Flagstaff.  Here's the article that she referred to about pine needle composting. She is looking for people to try to composting pine needles. If you are interested in helping with this project, please contact her at: