Gardening & Environmental Education
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2014 Plants of Distinction
New plants are the life-blood of the landscape and gardening economy. Please research and global exploration influence the number and types of plants available. However, we all know that “new” is not always “best” for our landscapes. With consumers turning their attention to sustainability and green practices, the question arises “how much maintenance do these plants require?” MSU Extension has developed a portfolio of renowned plant experts to present this annual seminar. Speakers will enrich your knowledge of widely sought-after plant material while remembering the foundational messages of “right plant right place.”
Dates, Locations, Cost
February 3, 2014 (Monday)
Crowne Plaza-GR Airport
5700 East 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids 49546
February 4, 2014 (Tuesday)
27000 Sheraton Drive, Novi 48377
Cost: $80.00 per participant
(Includes lunch, refreshments, handouts)
Grand Rapids location:
MSU Extension Kent County
MSU Tollgate Education Center
2014 Smart Gardening Conference
MSU Extension “Smart Gardening” Conference will be held in conjunction with the West Michigan Home Show on Saturday, March 8 from 8:15 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in Ballroom C/D(Note: New Location. Ballroom C/D located on main floor of DeVos Place - 303 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)
At the 2014 Smart Gardening Conference, participants will learn how their everyday efforts at home can have earth-friendly impacts. For more information on a wide variety of smart gardening articles, or to find out about Smart Plants, Smart Soils or Smart Lawns gardening classes and events, log on to http://migarden.msu.edu/
Want to learn more about becoming a Smart Gardener? Find out how by attending the Smart Garden Conference, Saturday, March 8, 2014 held in tandem with the West Michigan Home Show.
The 2014 presenters are:
Melinda Myers, Nationally known gardening expert, Birds and Bloom magazine columnist; speaking on “Create a Smart Garden with Year Round Interest”
Dr. George Bird, Michigan State University, Department of Entomology; speaking on “Smart Soils and Good Practices: Keys to Building a High Quality-Sustainable Garden”
Chuck Martin, Horticulturist at the Dow Gardens; speaking on “Practicing Phenology is Phun!”
Dr. Douglas Tallamy, Department of Entomology Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware and Author of Bringing Nature Home; speaking on “Smart Gardening for Life”
Click on the link to download a copy of the Smart Garden Conference brochure and registration form.
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
2014 MSU Extension Master Naturalist program in both Ottawa and Kent counties.
If you are interested in the Master Naturalist program in Kent or Ottawa counties, please ask to be placed on the 2014 Master Naturalist Waiting List. (Two of the class topics in Kent County Master Naturalist program are different than two of the class topics offered in the Ottawa County Master Naturalist program.)
In case you are not familiar with the Kent/MSU Extension Master Naturalist program, it is similar to the Master Gardener program only with a focus on conservation and the environment. To earn Master Naturalist certification, participants must attend 25 hours of education (six classes), complete 30 hours of volunteering in an approved conservation setting and then pass a take home final exam.
The Master Naturalist program is composed of a series of six classes which are offered on six different Saturday mornings. (In 2013, the classes were offered once a month from April through September.) The 2014 classes will be offered on Saturday mornings from 8:00-12:30 PM, but the actual dates have not been determined.
The titles of the six classes in Kent County are as follows: Overview to Conservation Theory and Practice, Woodland Wildflowers, Native Trees and Shrubs, Michigan Wetland Habitats, Invasive Plant Species and Prairie Environments. The six locations vary, but all locations are considered nature settings around the Grand Rapids area.
The titles of the six classes in Ottawa County are as follows: Overview to Conservation Theory and Practice, Native Plants &Woodland Wildflowers, Native Trees and Shrubs, Lakes & Rivers, Invasive Plant Species and Dune Ecology. The six locations vary, but all locations are Ottawa County Parks and Open Space properties.
In 2014, the1st class in both programs will be held on Saturday, April 12 due to the fact Easter is on April 20, 2014.
If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for the 2014 Master Naturalist program in either Kent or Ottawa Counties, then download the correct 2014 Waiting list registration form. Fill out the form and mail it back to Ginny Wanty at 775 Ball Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Once placed on the waiting list, you will receive the 2014 Master Naturalist brochure and registration materials earlier than the general public (around the beginning of March.)
For those individuals not on the 2014 Master Naturalist Waiting list, details and registration materials for the 2014 Master Naturalist program will be available to the general public after March 25, 2014.
- Kent County Master Naturalist Waiting List Brochure and registration form
- Ottawa County Master Naturalist Waiting List brochure and registration form
Prairie Class Handouts
2013 Master Gardener Volunteer Opportunities
North Kent Community Services - Creating a Community Garden
Visit Rebecca Finneran’s blog at MyFavoriteGardenShops.com
The next Master Gardener class offered in the W. MI area will be in the fall of 2014.
Stay tuned to this website for class dates, time and location.
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