Educational Opportunities

Find educational opportunities plus news and events for the northwest Michigan area

(Note: not all count for educational credit)

Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan

Help Wanted


MGANM is looking for MGANM member to volunteer to serve on our Board as the Treasurer.

Our long-time Treasurer, Glynis Waycaster, has stepped down due to personal reasons. Thank you Glynis for all of your time and your commitment to MGANM, you will be missed.

If you are good with details, and numbers do not scare you, please consider joining us.  It’s a light load but requires some attention each month for membership and to pay the dozen or so bills we have each year.

The Board meets monthly and it is a friendly and fun group of people to get to know.


MGANM has two boxes of association records that were gifted to us by Michigan State University Extension.  We are looking for a volunteer that could do bulk scans (by year)  creating PDFs so we can safely keep and reference them.  This is our history, and we would hate to lose it.  If you enjoy history and have a scanner that can scan multiple pages at a time into PDF format, this could be the job for you!  It also counts as volunteer hours!

If you are interested please send a Contact Us message. It is a great way to acquire your volunteer hours.


MGANM Book Club Book of the Month

Please note that there will be no new books to read during the summer months.  The book club meetings will resume sometime in September. 


 May bookMay

A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello  by Peter Hatch and Alice Waters




Windcliff: A Story of People, Plants, and Gardens by Daniel Hinkley




The Nature FixMarch

The 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 MI

ND: 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!

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


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

Smart Gardening 101Now 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


Have an Invasive Species in Your Yard?

Read here what to do


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!”


Master Gardener College

August 19-21 – Zoom event

Master Gardener College logoThe Master Gardener College will be held August 19-21, 2021. This year’s event will be held virtually via zoom. Details are currently being finalized and more information will be posted as it is confirmed.

Registration will likely won’t open in early May 2021. In the meantime, learn more about the offerings at this year’s conference by visiting the various pages on the website. In order to expand our educational reach, the conference will also be open to non-Extension Master Gardeners. 

More information


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.

Tour the Garden from your armchair

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.

Future Events – more information to follow:
September 9th – Shrubs That Grow Well in Northern Michigan

Questions? Please email our Program Committee at


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:


2021 Events

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

Michigan Master Gardener Association

MMGA E-Newsletters

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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