Gardening & Environmental Education

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Support the Grand Ideas Garden with a Brick Donation (Brick Order Form
If you are interested in supporting the Grand Ideas Garden, you can order a brick by downloading the brick order form. Inscribed bricks are available in two sizes:

  • $50 - 4” x 8” (up to three lines, 13 characters each line)
  • $100 - 8” x 8” (no logo, up to 78 characters, up to three lines, 13 characters each line)

Master Gardener Program - This 2017 class will be held on Tuesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Kent County MSU Extension Office, 775 Ball Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 running from late August to early Dec. 2017. The cost includes the 1,000 page training manual. The cost is yet to be determined.

If you have questions or would like to be placed on the 2017 waiting list, please contact Cindy Quinzy, the West Michigan Master Gardener Program Facilitator at 616-632-7880 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We hope you can be a part of this wonderful training in Fall 2017!

Educational opportunities:

Master Naturalist

There is a waiting list for the 2017 class if you would like to participate. If interested in being on the 2017 waiting list, please complete the following registration form for either the Kent or Ottawa County program.

Being on the waiting list means you will receive the 2017 Master Naturalist brochure and registration materials earlier than the general public (around the beginning of March 2017). If you do not place your name on the 2017 waiting list, you may still register for the Master Naturalist program after March 24, 2017.

What is the Master Naturalist Program?

Extension Master Naturalist program is similar to the Extension Master Gardener program only with a focus on conservation and the environment. The Master Naturalist program consists of:

  • A series of six classes offered on six Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during April through September.

KENT COUNTY Master Naturalist Program consists of the following classes:

  • Overview of Conservation Theory and Practice
  • Native Plants and Woodland Wildflowers
  • Native Trees and Shrubs
  • Michigan Wetland Habitats
  • Prairie Environments
  • Invasive Plant Species

Each class location varies, but all locations are considered nature setttings around the Grand Rapids area.

OTTAWA COUNTY Master Naturalist Program consists of the following classes:

  • Overview of Conservation Theory and Practice
  • Native Plants and Woodland Wildflowers
  • Native Trees and Shrubs
  • Lakes and Rivers
  • Invasive Plant Species
  • Dunes

Each class location varies, but all locations are Ottawa County Parks and Open Space properties.

Interested in certification as a Master Naturalist?

  • Complete 25 hours of education (six classes)

  • Complete 30 hours of volunteering in an approved conservation setting
  • Pass a take home final exam

If you have any questions regarding the Master Naturalist program, please contact Ginny Wanty at 616-632-7873 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Volunteer opportunities:

2016 Master Gardener Volunteer Opportunities

Kent/MSU Extension “Grand Ideas Garden” (GIG) 
ProjectHands on work in the GIG - see VMS Calendar for dates and times
Location: Kent/MSU Extension Office, 775 Ball Avenue NE, Grand Rapids
Contact:  Daniel Davis .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 813-5659

Habitat for Humanity
Project: Educate on rehab and development of “challenging” urban lots using practical and “do-able” approach.
Location: HFHKC offices, 425 Pleasant Street SW, Grand Rapids. Urban lots primarily NW and SW Grand Rapids
Contact: BriAnne McKee www.habitkent.org  (269) 377-7570

Grand Rapids Public Museum
Project: Plant and maintain smaller educational gardens on the grounds of the Public Museum.  Develop identification signage to educate adult and school-age visitors.  Partnering effort with Kent Garden Club.  May-October

Location: Grand Rapids Public Museum at 272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids
Contact: Joseph Landmichl .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); (616) 929-1717
 
Holland Community Garden - food for low-income families
Project:  Provide hands-on instruction and education to community members of all ages.  Emphasis is on explaining the “hows” and “whys” along with ideas and techniques for gardening.
Work Sessions: April to October on Wednesdays and Saturdays
Location: Holland Community Garden - behind the Macatawa Resource Center at 665 136th Street, Holland
Contact: Barry Anderson  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); (616) 399-5117
Salvation Army Kroc Center
Project: Kroc Community Center - Assist community members of varying experience levels to garden in (24) raised beds.  Time period is May-November, need 3-4 Master Gardeners to consult with gardeners and answer questions during two events.
Location: Kroc Center Outdoor Campus, 2500 S. Division Avenue, Grand Rapids
Contact: Heidi Roberts  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); (616) 588-7200
Spectrum Health Continuing Care - Fuller Campus
Project: Develop and maintain on-site gardens for the education and enjoyment of long-term care residents and their families.  Work with Occupational Therapy to develop ‘Garden Talk’ for residents.  Need 3-4 Master Gardeners able to commit to 1-2 hours per week.  This is a long-term project.
Location: 750 Fuller Avenue NE, Grand Rapids
Contact: Marnie Kotwick  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); (616) 915-2838
Ottawa County - Herrick District Library North Branch
Project: Provide assistance with the creation of a community garden at Herrick District Library.  Provide input with design and layout; teach participants basic gardening practices; organize adult and youth volunteers, ages 5-19.  This is an ongoing, long-term project; work will begin in April and continue throughout the growing season.
Work Sessions: Volunteers are needed on a weekly basis; scheduling is flexible.
Location: Herrick District Library North Branch, 155 Riley Street, Holland, MI  49424
United Church Outreach Ministry - Square Foot Gardening
Project: Teach adults with varying abilities how to garden, in raised bed containers.  Work will include planting, maintenance and harvest and be completed in UCOM’s hoop house.
Work Sessions: Prefer mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and some evenings, but can be flexible.  Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Location: 1311 Chicago Drive SW, Wyoming
Contact: Trisha Belbot, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), (616) 241-4006
Master Gardener/4-H Youth Focused Volunteer Opportunities
Ada Parks and Recreation Department, Kid’s Garden 4-H Program
Location: Ada Parks and Recreation Building, 1180 Buttrick Avenue, Ada
Project: Junior Master Gardener Lead Instructor
The Junior Master Gardener (JMG) Certification program is an additional option for youth.  This will consist of 8 meetings (spread out over spring, summer and fall within the time frames listed below), and be based on the activities in the JMG Level 1 Handbook.  You will be the lead on this program and have the assistance of the Ada Children’s Garden Coordinator.  A willingness to teach new skills, facilitate educational activities and present to small groups is a must.  This position involves working directly with youth.  4-H will provide any educational/planning assistance as needed.  Specific dates are TBD.
Project: Junior Master Gardener Program Assistant
Assist the Ada Village Kids’ Garden Coordinator for one or more seasonal sessions (dates/times listed below).  Volunteer(s) must have a willingness to teach new skills, facilitate educational activities, assist the Garden Coordinator as needed, and be comfortable working directly with youth.  Master Gardener is encouraged to attend all days, but is not a requirement.  This Master Gardener will also be responsible for filling in for the Ada Kids’ Garden Coordinator in the event that she cannot be present.
  • Fall Session: Aug. 23-Oct. 11 on Tuesdays from either 9 a.m.-1 p.m. or 4-6 p.m. (dependent on school days)
  • Junior Master Gardener Certification Session: requires eight meeting dates (TBD) between April 19 and October 11 (these dates will take place during the times listed above)

Project: Guest Speakers!
If you have a topic of expertise, or interest and would like to share with youth, this is for you!  Possible topics include worms/vermicomposting, bees and pollinators, insects (pest vs. beneficial), soil, organic gardening, etc.  Presentations must incorporate an educational component and are encouraged to be hands-on.  Presentations can take place outside in the garden or inside with access to a projector/screen and a kitchen.

Chandler Woods Charter Academy
Project: Provide assistance with a sustainable gardening project to teach students about maximizing gardening conditions, plants, beneficial insects and garden maintenance.  This is an ongoing, long-term project.
Location: Chandler Woods School, 6895 Samrick Avenue NE, Belmont

For all 4-H opportunities, contact: Susan Fenton, 4-H Program Coordinator; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); (616) 994-4543

 

Rebecca’s Blog

Rebecca

Visit Rebecca Finneran’s blog at MyFavoriteGardenShops.com

Master Gardener Links

Master Gardener Class

This 2017 class will be held on Tuesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Kent County MSU Extension office, 775 Ball Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI  49503 running from late August to early December 2017.  The cost includes the 1,000 page training manual.  The cost has yet to be determined.

If you have questions or would like to be placed on the 2017 waiting list, please contact Cindy Quinzy, the West Michigan Master Gardener Program Facilitator at (616) 632-7880 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  We hope you can be a part of this wonderful training in Fall 2017!

Request for Volunteers

Grand Ideas Garden

Follow Grand Ideas Garden on Facebook

Volunteer Sessions in the GIG

If you would like to visit the Grand Ideas Garden you may use one of the following links for a map.
775 Ball Ave., Grand Rapids, MI 49503