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Serve-July/August 2013

Contents

Jr MG Tip for FUN with Children in the Garden
The Case for Natural Shoreline Management

Jr MG Tip for FUN with Children in the Garden

Lillian Mahaney and Cheryl Gross

JRMG Projects

The best thing about working in the garden with kids is the FUN. As gardeners, we all find some wonderful feeling of satisfaction being in relationship with plants. Is it your tomato production, raspberry jam, picture-perfect lawn, spectacular flower color, or enriched soils that bring you joy? When we share our love of gardening with the young ones, there are a host of tips to get the message across and make it FUN.

Lillian Mahaney, our very own, local, Jr MG instructor and instructor trainer uses CDs by a band from California. They are four guys who write and perform songs, some with hand motions, to teach aspects of the natural world. Lil encourages you to check out the Banana Slug String Band’s Singing in the Garden CD.

“The Water Cycle Boogie”, for example, blasts out evaporation, condensation and precipitation in song and dance. “FBI” in their hands becomes…fungus, bacteria and invertebrates, which really delights the boys. “Dirt Made My Lunch” clears up any uncertainty of where all of our food originates. Finally, in a nod to us older folks, the , “Give Plants a Chance”.

Whether you work alongside your own children/grandchildren, with an after school/recreation/public library gardening program, school farming, or the whole kit and caboodle Junior Master Gardeners, YOU can keep it fun by singing along the facts of gardening with the Banana Slug String Band! Google the band’s title and find sites with snippets of songs. They will make you smile.

Stay tuned to this newsletter and the MGANM website. Lillian plans to offer a JR MG training program this fall, which will include a whole host of tips for working with kids in the garden.

The Case for Natural Shoreline Management

Mike Jones, Benzie Conservation District

Benzie Lighthouse

Benzie Lighthouse

With Northern Michigan’s abundance of inland lakes, rivers, and streams, waterfront property is important to residents, the health of the lakes and streams, and the wildlife they support. The shoreline and shallow water areas of a lake provide essential habitat for many fish and wildlife species.

Overdeveloped shorelines cannot support the fish, wildlife, and clean water that attract Michigan property owners and visitors to the waterfront. High-impact waterfront landscaping, with lawn to the water’s edge, creates problems for the lake ecosystem and waterfront owners. Rainwater carries lawn fertilizer, pet waste, leaves, and grass clippings into the lake, which promotes algal growth and the seasonal blooms that cause “green water”. Plants with shallow roots, especially grass, allow the shoreline to erode easily. Perfectly manicured lawns attract nuisance wildlife species such as geese. Hard-engineered shoreline structures such as seawalls and rip-rap, hinder the movement of wildlife to and from the lake and drastically alter the nearshore ecosystems that so many species depend on.

Alternative landscaping solutions can create attractive waterfronts that allow the recreational use of the shoreline while mimicking the functions of the wild shoreline of an undeveloped lake. Additional natural landscaping techniques such as rain gardens can filter pollutants such as bacteria, chemicals, and nutrients from runoff before it reaches our lakes.

With proper design, it is possible to have a beautiful shoreline that functions to protect the water quality and wildlife habitat while still enjoying the views and recreational uses that attract us to lakes.


Beautify–July/August 2013

Contents

REVOLUTIONARY GARDENS Past – Present – Future

REVOLUTIONARY GARDENS Past – Present – Future

Sunday Sept 29, 2013 – Thursday, Oct 3, 2013

Revolutionary Gardens Conference

This 4-day conference is a tax-deductible benefit event for the Botanical Garden Society of Northwest Michigan and will feature a series of lectures by internationally-known garden authors and designers Andrea Wulf, Peter Hatch and Warren Byrd.  You may register for single workshops, single days, or the complete conference.  Two special donor options are also available: Garden VIP and Garden Friend.  You may pay online through Pay Pal or send your check to: BGSNM, Box 1247, Traverse City, MI 49685-1247. Checks should be made payable to BGSNM.  Registrants can sign up for a variety of programs. Go to the BGS webpage to register, and/or click on the image for this article to take you to a copy of the full schedule.

Andrea Wulf

Andrea Wulf

One of the speakers at the upcoming “Revolutionary Gardeners Conference” is Andrea Wulf.

Trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art in London, Andrea Wulf is a fulltime writer. She is the author of four books and writes for a number of papers, including the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, and Financial Times.

She has lectured to audiences at the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society in London along with the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia and Chicago Botanic Garden among many others.

As a three-time fellow of International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, Wulf is extremely familiar with American gardening history. One of Wulf’s books Founding Gardeners looks at Revolutionary America by focusing on the gardening of four of the Founding Fathers.

We are privileged to have such a powerful and passionate speaker here in Northern Michigan.

For the full schedule of lectures, click here.


News & Events–July/August 2013

July/August Meeting – Natural Shoreline Project Tour

  • Friday, July 26, 3 pm
  • Almira Township Public Beach, Lake Ann (view map)

Join the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan and the Benzie Conservation District for a tour of demonstration sites for natural shoreline landscapes. See for yourself how you can use natural shorelines to beautify your landscape and help ensure clean waters, deter geese, prevent erosion problems, and improve fish and wildlife habitat. We will be touring shoreline projects at Lake Ann, Platte Lake, and Watervale Resort. $5 suggested donation. Please RSVP to the Benzie Conservation District, (231) 882-4391.


July/August Meeting — Natural Shoreline Project Tour

2 year natural shoreline_Photo and design project by Carolyn Thayer, Designs in Bloom, Benzie County, DesignsInBloom.biz  (10)Friday, July 26, 3 pm
Almira Township Public Beach, Lake Ann (view map)

Join the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan and the Benzie Conservation District for a tour of demonstration sites for natural shoreline landscapes. See for yourself how you can use natural shorelines to beautify your landscape and help ensure clean waters, deter geese, prevent erosion problems, and improve fish and wildlife habitat. We will be touring shoreline projects at Lake Ann, Platte Lake, and Watervale Resort. $5 suggested donation. Please RSVP to the Benzie Conservation District, (231) 882-4391.

Photo by Carolyn Thayer, Designs in Bloom, DesignsInBloom.biz.


Volunteer at the Boardman River Nature Center Gardens

Bench_web

Thursday, June 20th, 5-7pm

Boardman River Nature Center, 1450 Cass Rd.

Master Gardener’s maintain the native plant gardens at the Boardman River Nature Center. Learn basic gardening skills and explore one of northwest Michigan’s premiere native plant gardens. To register, contact Matthew Bertrand at the Grand Traverse Conservation District, mbertrand@gtcd.org.


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