Educational Opportunities

Online Courses, Articles, and Presentations

Avoid invasive hitchhikers

Improver Your Garden with MSU Enviroweather

Invasive Species Network – Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Zoom presentation

MMGA E-Newsletters

Muddy Day Don’t Play

Plan a garden for a greater good

Smart Gardening 101 Online Course

Starting a Sedges and Grasses Garden article

Tour the Gardens from your Armchair 


Chronological Event List

Now until end of March, beginning of April, Native Seedling Sales

Leelanau Conservation District

April 1-30, Plant by Number Flat Sales – GTCD

April 7 – 28, Gardening Series

April 15, Christmas Tree Production in Michigan

April 15 & 17, Vegetable Propagation

April 15, Gardening Basics

April 17, Gardening and All That Jazz – New!

April 19, Let’s Learn About Invasive Plants!

April 20, Remove Invasive Species Work Days

April 20-May 25, Backyard Fruit 101

April 21, Creating Community with Our Insect Neighbors

April 22, Gardening Basics

April 22, Earth Day with the Botanic Garden – New!

April 22, Earth Day Workbee – GTCD

April 22, Insect Apocalypse?

April 22, The buzz about native bees

April 23, Native Plant Online Workshop

April 23, Captivating Combinations 

April 24, Foraging 101 – Ann Arbor

April 26-May 6, MSU Horticulture Gardens Plant Sale

April 26-May24, 2021 PLANT QUEST – New!

April 29, A New Way to Farm

April 29, Gardening Basics

April 30, NER Arbor Day Planting – GTCD

May 1, NER Workbee – GTCD

May 1, Foraging 101 – Traverse City

May 4, A Pest Resistant Landscape

May 4, Remove Invasive Species Work Days

May 6, Gardening Basics

May 6, Supporting Pollinators Over Time

May 8, Growing Fun with Kids

May 8, Garlic Mustard Workbee, Grand Traverse County New!

May 15, Foraging 101 – Grand Rapids

May 16th, Perennials for Challenging Growing Conditions

May 18, Bee City USA & Bee Campus USA Series

May 18, Garlic Mustard Workbee, Benzie CountyNew!

May 19, Garlic Mustard Workbee, Leelanau CountyNew!

May 20, Garlic Mustard Workbee, Manistee CountyNew!

May 28-29, Native Plant Rescue Sale

June 1, Top Plants for Insect Habitat

June 12, Taking Growing to New Heights

June 21st – 27th, Pollinator Week 2021

July 10, Season Extension for the Home Garden

Aug 14, Companion Planting

Sept 11, Veggie Harvest and Storage

Find educational opportunities plus news and events for the northwest Michigan area
(Note: not all count for educational credit) 


Mark Your CalendarNew items were added on April 15, 2021





MGANM Events


A Pest Resistant Landscape – Plant Choices that are Work Horses

May MGANM PresnetationMay 04, 2021, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM. Zoom presentation.
This month’s guest speaker is Robin Smillie, who is the face of Garden Goods, a favorite Traverse City garden supply store.  Robin is the ever-cheerful and knowledgeable woman you will see at the cash register. Her last name, Smillie, fits her well!  Robin will share her vast knowledge of plants during this informative talk. 

Click here for more information and registration.


Top Plants for Insect Habitat

Top Plants for Insect HabitatJune 01, 2021, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM. Zoom presentation.

Join us for an informative discussion about plant selections to encourage insect habitat.
Registration for this event will open in May.


MGANM Book Club Book of the Month


The Nature FixThe Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams






Natures best hope

Natures Best Hope by Douglas W. Tallamy





Well-Gardened Mind

The Well-Gardened MIND: The Restorative Power of Nature by Sue Stuart-Smith






MSU Extension


Tollgate Farm HomeGrown Gardening Series 2021

Tollgate FarmSecond Saturdays, 10 – 11 a.m. EST

Join us for this virtual interactive series on home vegetable gardening.

Are you interested in starting a vegetable garden for the first time or are you an experienced veggie gardener looking to explore new ideas? All levels of experience are welcome at this new series designed to encourage and support home vegetable gardeners!

May 8 – Growing Fun with Kids
June 12 – Taking Growing to New Heights
July 10 – Season Extension for the Home Garden
Aug. 14 – Companion Planting
Sept. 11 – Veggie Harvest and Storage
$10 per session for one household, $75 for all eight sessions
Preregistration required. Recorded lectures available to paid registrants.
A link will be sent prior to the session.
Series will be virtual. If in-person programming resumes, some sessions may take place at the farm and virtually.

MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center
28115 Meadowbrook Rd., Novi, MI 48377

Register here


Evenings in the Garden Series

Evening in the Garden


Zoom presentations on Thursday evenings 6:30-8:30 p.m.

$10 per session.  Registration required.  



There are 2 remaining sessions:

Apr. 15thChristmas Tree Production in Michigan with Dr. Bert Cregg, Professor of Horticulture and Forestry”

Apr. 29th– “A New Way to Farm:  Why is Lavender Farming Growing in Michigan by Dr. Wynne Wright, Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Community Sustainability”


Gardening Basics


Gardening Basics

Starting April 15, four Thursday evening sessions, 6 – 8 p.m. EST 
Join MSU Extension staff as we explore basic concepts in gardening and introduce you to beginner-friendly plants. Each class covers topics that will help you understand your garden site and make informed choices on plants and plant care. We will share expertise and resources to help you start smart! 

Backyard Fruit 101

Backyard Fruit 101The Backyard Fruit 101 Webinar series is an online class for introductory and beginning fruit gardeners. Six one-hour online classes will take place on Tuesdays beginning April 20 and going through May 25. All aspects of growing fruit will be covered: getting started, planning and preparing, plant selection, types of gardening, garden maintenance, soil preparation, starting with and maintaining healthy plants, and various gardening activities

Register here



MGOC 2021 Conferenece LogoGardening and All That Jazz – In Harmony With Nature

Saturday, April 17, 2021, 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

2021 Educational Conference

Keynote Speakers:
Rick Darke • Doug Tallamy • Heather Holm • Susan Martin

Learn more and register here.


Let’s Learn About Invasive Plants!

LogoApril 19, 2021, 5:30PM – 6:30PM  – Zoom Presentation

Join Patrick Scanlon (GiLLS CISMA) to learn about invasive plants that affect home gardeners. Patrick will not only cover some common invasive plants but will speak about how we can be responsible stewards in our own gardens.

Established in 2019, the GiLLS CISMA is a Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area for the Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, and Shiawassee counties. This position is funded by the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program ( CISMA partnerships can include federal, state, and local government agencies, tribes, non-profit groups, individual homeowners, and various interested groups that manage invasive species (and weeds) in a defined area. This collaborative effort helps to combine resources and knowledge to decrease the threats of these exotic species. Through education, outreach efforts, and technical support, CISMAs aim to control or manage the dangers and damages from invasive species. We offer a range of services including information on preventing, identifying, reporting and managing invasive species.

This event is hosted by MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture in Genesee County.

Topics to be covered:

  • What is GiLLS CISMA?
  • What does CISMA do?
  • How you can report invasive plants
  • The features of an invasive plant
  • Common invasive plants
  • The horticultural industries role in preventing the introduction of invasive plants
  • Being a more responsible gardener

The buzz about native bees: The multiple interacting factors that contribute to recent native bee declines

April 22, 7 PM EDT

Many of the key factors, including habitat loss, pesticide use, climate change, and increased spread of infectious diseases, that have led to recent honey bee losses are also contributing to broad declines in native bee biodiversity and population sizes. Native bees are surprisingly important pollinators of native plants and crops, and as a group they represent an incredible amount of diversity in the essential roles they play in our ecosystems

Go here more information and registration



April 26 – May 24 – 6:00 – 7:30 EDT

If you loved Plants of Distinction– you are going to love PLANT QUEST!  With “Smart Plants” in mind, five dazzling on-line presentations will be featured for gardeners with every-type of growing environment.  Nationally notable horticulture experts from across the country will provide career-long, plant expertise through a cavalcade of beautiful images, sure to inspire us.  Easy access makes this live series available to you when it is most CONVENIENT too!  The ZOOM platform is user-friendly, and if you miss a session that you registered for, recordings will be available for you to catch up when you choose.

Please plan to join all your fellow “plant GEEKS” for a thrilling exploration of plants for spring. Find out more and register here:


Improve your garden with MSU Enviroweather’s tools and information

 Enviroweather’s weather-based models and forecasting interpret Michigan’s conditions to help gardeners make better decisions about plant care and pest management.


Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101 online course now available

Now is a great time to learn about growing your own vegetables. Plan to register for Michigan State Extension’s Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101 online course. This self-paced, introductory online course provides all you need to know to successfully start and grow a vegetable garden. Whether you have a large space, small space or plan to garden in containers, you will learn research-based practices for success. From seed starting to harvest, you will learn important concepts needed to select and grow fresh vegetables from start to finish.

Participants have appreciated the self-paced nature of the course. Six modules consist of video presentations, polls and Extension-based gardening resources that can be saved on your computer for future use. Topics include:

  • Planning a vegetable garden and the importance of soil health
  • Planning and plant selection
  • Raised beds and containers
  • Seeds or transplants
  • Integrated pest management
  • Gardening activities (organic gardening, composting and seasonal planning)

If you are new to vegetable gardening, take advantage of this opportunity to learn vegetable gardening basics in six easy to understand science-based sessions from the comfort of your own home. The entire course is only $30 for over six hours of instruction.

Sign up here for Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101


Starting A Grasses and Sedges Garden

An article by David Lowenstein, MSUE
An alternative to turf lawns for the home gardener.
Read the full article here


Avoid Invasive Hitchhikers

Note: if out hiking or snowshoeing to help curb the transfer of invasive species, observe these tips that were included in GTCD February e-newsletter, “Stopping Hidden Hitchhikers – All that effortless access and reduced foliage means something else too – seeds clinging to stems and pods are that much easier to brush up against while you’re out touring the season. But since our minds aren’t often on weeds, it’s easy to forget to be vigilant about cleaning our gear to prevent invasive species from spreading. Pay close attention to bindings, laces, and soft fabrics –  when we wear a lot of slippery, water-resistant fabrics that don’t pick up much, it’s easy to forget about those nooks and crannies that do. Don’t forget – if you have a furry friend or other gear, they need cleaning too!”



Annual Plant Sale

MSU Plant Sale

Apr. 26-27th (Mon.-Tue.) Members

Apr. 28th-May 6th (Wed.-Thur.) Public sale

What can you expect? Order Online with Curbside Pickup. Diverse Selection Grown by MSU Experts.  Top Quality plants.  Great Value.

Stay tuned for more information about the 2021 Spring Plant Sale.





Muddy Day Don’t Play
mUDDY dAY dON'T pLAYWith warmer weather in the forecast, we wanted to remind everyone to help protect Michigan trails by not using them when muddy.

Riding or walking on a muddy trail destroys the surface. It leaves ruts/deep holes, uneven tire and footprints, contributes to erosion and creates a hard-to-fix trail surface. Hint: If you are leaving visible bicycle ruts, deep footprints or hoof tracks the trail is too muddy.

Spring is an especially sensitive time because frost layers often linger below the trail surface (even when air temperatures have warmed up). As a result, spring rains have trouble permeating the soil, creating muddy topsoil. Trail use and muddy conditions can erode trails very quickly.

Although you should avoid muddy trails altogether, please keep these tips in mind if you encounter a muddy section:

  • Mountain biking – If you encounter a muddy section, dismount and tiptoe down the center, not to the sides because it widens the trail.
  • Hiking – If you must traverse a muddy section of trail, go right through the center of the trail, rather than travelling around the mud and widening the trail.
  • Horseback riding – Although most horses don’t mind getting their feet wet, you and your horse are encouraged to travel through the center of the trail so inadvertent trail widening doesn’t occur.



Botanic Garden

Please check the website for Zoom presentations, Please also check their Facebook page and since they may have quicker updates.  The Garden and Labyrinth are still available to enjoy.  The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park is always open to the public.  Please check the website for current information on the gift shop. The Garden looks forward to welcoming visitors and is working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy while providing guests with the best possible experience.


There is an exciting new feature on The Botanic Garden’s website – an audio tour of The Garden. Click on ‘Visit’ at the top of the home page, and then select ‘Self Guided Audio Tour’.  You can access this feature on your cell phones as well. Whether you are walking The Garden or curled up at home, you can hear all about each garden and special feature, including an introductory historic background.   Self-guided tour brochures are available at both the upper and lower level entrances of the visitor center, and are aligned with the audio tour.


April 22nd – 5:30-8:00 PM EARTH DAY with the Botanic Garden

In celebration of Earth Day 2021, we’re pleased to offer a double feature — 2 presentations for the price of 1! (Or both FREE for our Garden Members!) By reserving your ticket here, you will gain access to both events. Join us for one or both of these exciting Earth Day offerings. Read more about them here!


May 16th – 2:00-3:00Perennials for Challenging Growing Conditions with Melinda Myers

Selecting the right plant for the location is not as easy as it seems. Looking for perennials that will tolerate extremes of moisture, drought, sun and shade? Melinda will recommend plants and combinations best suited for your garden location. 

More information and registration


Future Events – more information to follow

May 23rd – A Tour of The Botanic Garden for Plants Worth Getting

May 26th – How To Plant Your Own Herbal Pot

June 24th – Authors In The Park

July 14th – All About Roses Tour

September 9th – Shrubs That Grow Well in Northern Michigan


Questions? Please email our Program Committee at


Pollinator Partnership

Pollinator Week – June 21-27

2021 Pollinator WeekAn annual event celebrated internationally in support of pollinator health. It’s a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what we can do to protect them. 

Read more to get ready




Michigan Invasive Species Network


Garlic Mustard Workbees

Grand Traverse County
Partnering with the Grand Traverse Conservation District
Saturday, May 8, 2021 | 9am-noon
Location: Hickory Meadows, Traverse City

Benzie County
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | 10am-noon
Location: Tank Hill, Frankfort

Leelanau County
Partnering with the Leelanau Conservancy
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 10am-noon
Location: Clay Cliffs Natural Area

Manistee County
Partnering with the Manistee Conservation District
Thursday, May 20 | 10am-noon
Location: Magoon Creek Natural Area

Join ISN and partners for an opportunity to give back to Mother Earth through stewardship activities at natural areas throughout northwest Michigan! Foster habitat improvements by controlling highly invasive garlic mustard.

More information and registration.


 “Hemlock Woolly Adelgid”.  The Zoom presentation from January is available online.  Join ISN to learn about Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), its impacts on our special hemlock trees, and how you can get involved with surveying on your own property. Winter is one of the best times to spot signs of the insect and we will review what to look for as well as look-a-likes, and how to report anything you find. You may also qualify for a free site visit.  There is a landowner questionnaire available.  Please see these websites for more information:



Grand Traverse Conservation District



Plant by number flats are on sale now through April 30 on our website! These turn-key solutions for adding habitat are only available through this pre-sale, with pickup during the regular Native Plant Sale.

Click to shop now!


Earth Day Workbee at Miller Creek

Thursday, April 22, 2021, 9:00 AM  12:00 PM, Grand Traverse Conservation District (map)

Join us on Earth day and help us spruce up the trails and plant bare-root seedlings along Miller Creek! Please email to sign-up or with any questions!


NER Arbor Day Planting

Friday, April 30, 2021, 9:00 AM  1:00 PM, Grand Traverse Conservation District (map)

Help district staff continue restoration efforts in the recently exposed bottomlands of the Natural Education Reserve with a few hours of planting native trees and shrubs. Funded in part by Keep Michigan Beautiful.

Meet at the Beaver Pond trailhead on Cass (north side of the road).

Please contact to RSVP and with any questions.


NER Workbee

Saturday, May 1, 2021, 9:00 AM  1:00 PM, Grand Traverse Conservation District (map)

Help district staff continue restoration efforts in the recently exposed bottomlands of the Natural Education Reserve with a few hours of planting native trees and shrubs. Funded in part by Keep Michigan Beautiful.

Meet at the Beaver Pond trailhead on Cass (north side of the road).

Please contact to RSVP and with any questions.



2021 Events

Fri/Sat, April 23/24 — Spring Seedling Order Pick-Up (Fri: 9 to 4pm; Sat 9 to 12pm) at Beulah Park
Wed, May 6 — Volunteer Stream Monitoring Field Training Event
Sat, May 8 — Volunteer Stream Monitoring Field Collection Event
Sat, May 15 — Spring Hike: Limited to 10 participants, must pre-register
Thurs, May 27 — Platte River Clean Sweep
Sat, June 12 — Betsie River Clean Sweep
June 27 thru July 4 — Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week
Wed, July 7 — Aquatic Species Workshop
Sat, July 17* — Water Tour: Upper Betsie River
Sat, August 7* — Aquatic Plant & Snorkeling Water Tour: Herendeene Lake
Sat, Aug 14* — Volunteer Appreciation Bash at St Ambrose
Sat, Aug 28 — Fall Hike: Mushrooms in Benzie
Sat, Sept 18 — Adopt-a-Beach Clean Up
Fri, Sept 25 — Fall Seedling Sale Orders Due
Fri, Oct 8 — Fall Seedling Sale Pick Up Orders
Wed, Oct 14 — Volunteer Stream Monitoring Field Training Event
Sat, Oct 16 — Volunteer Stream Monitoring Field Collection Event
Wed, Nov 10 — Annual Meeting

Contact information:
By Phone:
By Email:
By Mail:
280 Benzie Boulevard
PO Box 408
Beulah, MI 49617



Time For Our Annual Spring Seedling Sale!

Leelanau Conservation District Seedling SaleOrder until April 9: Bare-root Tree Seedlings, Shrubs, Wildlife Trees & Beachgrass!
1. Download our Spring Seedling Sale order form here

2. Fill out your order; include check or credit card info!

3. Scan and email; or mail; or drop off form to the LCD office.
NOTE: This is first come; first serve. Limited quantities are available!

Go to our seedling sale web page here to learn more about the species and browse the selections!

If you have any questions, ​please contact the office: ​Karen Long,  231.256.9783,



Note: These are Conservation Districts that serve many of the membership. Other Conservation Districts may also have an annual sale so check with your local office for details.



Leelanau Conservancy logoAnnual Wildflower Rescue Sale

May 28 – 29 – Held at the Leland Village Green. More information coming.




Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural Area

Glacial Hill LogoRemove Invasive Species Work Days
Beginning Tuesday, April 6th, there will be work days to remove invasive species at Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural area ( outside Bellaire. The work days will be every other Tuesday at 8:30am and will be partnered with CAKE CISMA . The first workday will take place Tuesday 6 April meeting at the Eckhardt Trailhead. We will work in small groups following Covid19 safety protocols. Bring your own garden or leather work gloves. This will be a good way to learn more about invasive species and their identification. Keep an eye on social media for more information and updates on the location for our biweekly invasive species work sessions. Other questions? contact Sue Haadsma-Svensson (317-442-6364, Facebook @glacialhillstrails Instagram: Glacial_Hills_Trails

The second workday will be on Tuesday, April 20th at 8:30AM from the Vandermark Trailhead. 
The 3rd workday will be on Tuesday, May 4th at 8:30 AM from the Orchard Hills Trailhead.

North Central Michigan College

North Central Michigan College




Gardening Series with Larry Dyer

Wednesdays, April 7th-28th • 7:00 – 8:15 PM

Building healthy soil in your garden, Managing weeds and insects in your garden, Planning your garden and the surrounding landscape, and Get your garden planted!

Register here


Vegetable Propagation

April 15, 7:30-9:30 & April 17, 12PM – 2PM

To spend less money on seeds, have a wide variety of edibles, and harvest them for a longer period of time then explore vegetable propagation and seed starting!

Register here



Xerces Society Logo





Creating Community with Our Insect Neighbors

April 21, 12:00 PM EDT
Join Dr. Nancy Lee Adamson of Xerces Society to learn about common insects in our communities and how to support them.  Nancy will highlight the difference between solitary and social wasps and bees, “beneficial” insects in agriculture, and ways we can support insects in our neighborhoods and broader communities.

Click here for more information and to register.


Insect Apocalypse? What Is Really Happening, Why It Matters and How We Can All Be a Vital Part of the Solution

April 22, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT
With well over one million known species, insects and other invertebrates eclipse all other forms of life on Earth. They truly are the “little things that run the world.” Though they are indisputably the most important creatures on earth, invertebrates are in trouble. If we hope to stem the losses of insect diversity and the services they provide, society must take steps at all levels to protect, restore and enhance native plant habitat across landscapes, from wildlands to farmlands to urban cores. Join Xerces Executive Director, Scott Hoffman Black, as he explains the latest science on insect declines and how everyone can incorporate invertebrate conservation into their lives.

This webinar will be recorded and available on our YouTube channel. Closed Captioning will be available during this webinar.

Click here for more information and to register.


Supporting Pollinators Over Time: How to Maintain Wildflower Diversity

May 6, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT
Integrating habitat onto farms and other landscapes can support pollinators and the pollination services they provide. However, flower-rich plantings often require ongoing management to maintain wildflower diversity for pollinators over time. Come learn about a framework for selecting the most appropriate management techniques, and learn how landowners we work with are managing their pollinator plantings.

This webinar will be recorded and available on our YouTube channel. Closed Captioning will be available during this webinar.

Click here for more information and to register.


Bee City USA & Bee Campus USA Series: Comparing Benefits and Costs of Pursuing Bee Campus USA Certification

May 18, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT
While pollinator conservation efforts among universities continue to grow, many others remain unengaged. Demonstrating the value of pollinator conservations among students may help encourage university leaders to take action. Join Dr. Jerrod Penn to learn about the research that he and Wuyang Hu did to investigate the role of student interest in pollinator conservation actions. This webinar will include an overview of their study and their finding that certification generally creates positive benefits greater than costs.

Jerrod Penn, PhD – Jerrod is an assistant professor of environmental/resource economics and sustainability at Louisiana State University. His work focuses on individual behavior and preferences to understand economic values for changes in the environment such as species abundance and diversity. His collaborations include work on resource conservation for pollinators, sustainable forestry, outdoor recreation, beach management, and agriculture.

This webinar will be recorded and available on our YouTube channel. Closed Captioning will be available during this webinar.

Click here for more information and to register.



Spring Foraging 101


With Clay Bowers

It’s just about that time of year again! Spring Foraging time is here (well, almost). A time of year that all of us eagerly anticipate. The foragers among us anticipate it for the explosion of foods that become available. It truly is a special time of the year and I hope you join me in what has become on of my most sold out classes each and every year.

In this class you will learn how to identify and safely harvest a variety of wild edible and medicinal plants (and potentially mushrooms) that grow in the Northern Michigan region. In addition to identification we will learn about the evolution, historical uses, and sustainability of each individual species. This class will end with a giant spread of pre-made wild foods by Madelyn Walters and myself.

Held in multiple locations:

Ann Arbor, MI – April 24, 2021 – 12:00 PM

Traverse City, MI – May 1, 2021 – 12:00 PM

Grand Rapids MI – May 15, 2021 – 12:00PM




Meadow BrookApril 23, 2021 at 10 a.m.

Julia Hofley will present “Captivating Combinations.”

Monthly meetings will be held virtually through ZoomNon-members wishing to attend, please send an email to to request a link that includes a link to make a $5.00 guest donation.



Michigan Master Gardeners Association


If you are a member of MMGA (Michigan Master Gardener Association) there are a number of upcoming webinars.  Please check the website for further  information.

Join Our Association


Michigan Gardening Hotline

9am to Noon, M-F Year round
Also 1pm-4pm in Spring/Summer



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