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2016 Smart Gardening Conference
Saturday, March 5 - Grand Rapids
8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

This year’s Smart Gardening Conference in Grand Rapids is packed with great messages and presenters! 
Learning more about the Monarch Butterfly to choosing the right plants for pollinators will be a highlight along with a broad look at native woody plants.
Keynote presenters will teach us about Smart Plants - that are deer resistant and how to engage in Smart Gardening practices
around our home from one of the nation’s finest Botanic Gardens.  Click here to download a brochure! 
Registration Link:  http://events.anr.msu.edu/2016GRSmartGardeningConference/

Explore Gardens and Castles of England
July 7-16, 2016

Join MSU Extension Horticulture experts Mary Wilson and Rebecca Finneran on an excursion through England this summer!!  This exclusive garden adventure will take place July 7-16 and will feature the finest English gardens, castles and countryside just “across the pond”.  Your trip includes many “extras” including the Hampton Court Flower Show, Tea at the RHS Wisley Gardens, Sissinghurst and Hever Castles and much more.  Joining our hosts, a professional travel guide will make the journey pleasurable and fact filled.  We will also be joined in two fo the gardens by a local expert.  Who could ask for more?  Click here to download a brochure.  For more questions, contact Conlin Travel, Mary Steils at (734) 677-0900 or e-mail her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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 them by downloading the brick order form. Inscribed bricks are available in two sizes:
$50 - 4"x8” (up to three lines, 13 characters each line)
$100 - 8"x8” (No Logo, up to 78 characters, up to three lines, 13 characters each line)

Master Gardener Program - The next Master Gardener training in the west Michigan area will be offered in the fall of 2016. For further information about the program, the training and certifying as an MSU Extension Master Gardener, view: 2016 Master Gardener Class

If you have questions or would like to be placed on the 2016 waiting list, please contact Adriane Land, the West Michigan Master Gardener Program Facilitator at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (616) 632-7880.  We hope you can be a part of this wonderful training in Fall 2016!

Educational Opportunities 

Master Naturalist

2016 MSU Extension Master Naturalist program in both Ottawa and Kent counties

There is a waiting list for the 2016 class if you would like to participate. If interested in being on the 2016 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 2016 Master Naturalist brochure and registration materials earlier than the general public (around the beginning of March 2016). If you do not place your name on the 2016 waiting list, you may still register for the Master Naturalist program after March 25, 2016.

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)

Environmental Education

2016 Master Naturalist Supplemental Classes

These 2016 classes will be updated when available.

Volunteer Opportunities

2015 Master Gardener Volunteer Opportunities

Kent/MSU Extension “Grand Ideas Garden” (GIG) 
Project:  Hands 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

Allendale Public Schools - Jaarsma Outdoor Learning Center
Project: Annual Community Field Day - Educate the public about “things that pollinate” focusing on bee box building, planting and maintaining pollinator/butterfly habitat.
Location: Jaarsma Outdoor Learning Center, Allendale Middle School campus
Contact: Keith Piccard .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 892-5595

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

Kent County Dept. of Public Works - Recycling & Education Center
Project: Further development and maintenance of existing rain gardens.  Educating the public about the benefits of rain gardens and composting. Teams of 2-3 volunteers or an individual interested in developing the educational composting component for the facility.  Times are flexible
Location: 977 Wealthy SW, Grand Rapids
Contact: Ann Kaiser .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 336-4617
 
Pine Rest, Freedom House
Project:  Share information with residents and oversee horticultural activities such as planting and maintain a large outside garden.
Location: Pine Rest Freedom House, 68th St. Cutlerville, MI
Contact: Debbie Albert  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  (616) 772-4447

Rebecca’s Blog

Rebecca

Visit Rebecca Finneran’s blog at MyFavoriteGardenShops.com

Master Gardener Links

Master Gardener Class

The next Master Gardener training in the west Michigan area will be offered in the Fall of 2016.  For further information about the program, the training and certifying as an MSU Extension Master Gardener, please click on the link: 2016 Master Gardener Class

If you have questions or would like to be placed on the 2016 waiting list, please contact Adriane Land, the West Michigan Master Gardener Program Facilitator at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (616) 632-7880.  We hope you can be a part of this wonderful training in Fall 2016!

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