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 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 - Find out more about this program on the Master Gardener website.  Classes will begin in late August and will end in mid-December.  Online registration will open up in early summer 2015.  They will be held on Tuesdays from 4-8 p.m. at the MSU Extension Kent County office and also at an Ottawa County location to be determined.  If you know anyone who may be interested in having their name on the 2015 waiting list, please contact Diane Brady at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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 & 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 & Woodland Wildflowers
  • Native Trees and Shrubs
  • Lakes & 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

2015 Master Naturalist Supplemental Classes

These classes do not cover the same material as offered in the basic Master Naturalist program, but are additional Master Naturalist program topics.

All these classes are open to the public as well as Master Naturalists.

2015 Master Naturalist Supplemental classes:

  • Mosses on Saturday, June 20 from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Instructor: Nancy McIntyre; Location: Wittenbach/Wege Agricultural Education Center
  • Latest News on Invasive Plant Species on Saturday, September 26 from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Instructor: Melanie Manion; Location: Hager Park in Ottawa County
  • Naturalist Storytelling on Saturday, October 10 from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Instructor: Dr. Rob Keys; Location: Wittenbach/Wege Agricultural Education Center

Download the 2015 MSU Extension Master Naturalist Supplemental Classes brochure and registration form

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

Blandford Nature Center
Project: Educate CSA (Community Supplied Agriculture) farm members about value of composting, process of growing vegetables, value of food gardening etc. at a one day event the last weekend in May.
Location: Blandford Farm - 1715 Hillburn Avenue NW, Grand Rapids
Contact: Aaron Snippe .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 735-6240

Caledonia United Methodist Church
Project:  Offering assistance and information on construction and planting of raised vegetable/flower beds for community garden (work with two co-leaders on this project April-October)
Would like one Master Gardener to attend monthly planning meetings and 1-2 to oversee weekly gardening activities.
Location:  8754 Kraft Avenue, Caledonia
Contact:  David Benjamin .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 206-9272 or Pat Schenk .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 891-9020

DA Blodgett - St. John’s
Project Rain Gardens Rehab - Providing info on the purpose of rain gardens and helping adult men and women learn how to care for these gardens.
Need 2-3 Master Gardeners at least once a week throughout the summer.
Location: 805 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI
Contact: Megan Zars  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  (616) 361-4121

Five Cap Inc.
Project: Participate in workshop to share vegetable gardening/growing tips to local Lake County residents.  Workshop is on Tuesday, June 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: 2476 W. 44th Street, Baldwin
Contact: Dawn Summers .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (231) 745-4617
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
Home Repair Services
Project: Landscaping Together - assist new homeowners in developing and implementing a landscape for their home, teaching about preparation techniques, plant selection, and maintenance.  Four successive Saturdays in April.
Location: Home Repair Services, 1100 S. Division, Grand Rapids
Contact: Gordon Griffin .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  (616) 856-8116
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
 
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
 
Metro Health Hospital - Health Garden
Project: From mid-May through fall, Master Gardeners are needed at least 2 times per week for 2 hour increments to offer information about best practices in organic gardening, use of space and resources and talk to youth about growing food.  There will also be free community events, planting days and garden tours for the public.  Number of volunteers and hours will vary during planting time and with events.
Location: Metro Health Hospital’s main campus - Health Garden is directly behind the hospital
Contact: Scott Andrews .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 706-9495 or Alexzandra Andrews .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 366-8155
MSU Extension Osceola County SNAP-Ed
Project: Health Harvest Program in which Master Gardeners will teach low-income participants basic food gardening skills.  Group times will be on May 5, 12, 19 and June 9, 16, 23.  At least one Master Gardener is requested for May 12 and May 19 (for start up of planting season).
Location: Reed City, Osceola County Courthouse
Contact: Renee Sanders .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (231) 832-6141
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
The Salvation Army Kroc Center
Project: Kroc Community Garden - 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, MI
Contact: Heidi Roberts  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 588-7200

South End Community Outreach Ministries
Project: Pantry Garden Enhancement and Education - working with SECOM staff and garden intern to increase garden output.  April 1 - October 31
Location:  1545 Buchanan SW, Grand Rapids
Contact:  Eleanor Moreno .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Amy Brower .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 452-7684

United Church Outreach Ministry
Project:  Teach individuals with varying abilities how to garden and grow vegetables.  Planning starts in February/March and group sessions run from April through October.  Would like 4 volunteers who could come in the morning Monday-Thursday for about 4 hours to gain rapport with participants.
Location: 1311 Chicago Drive SW, Wyoming
Contact:  Shawn Keener .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (616) 241-3343

Rebecca’s Blog

Rebecca

Visit Rebecca Finneran’s blog at MyFavoriteGardenShops.com

Master Gardener Links

Master Gardener Class

Classes will begin in late August and will end in mid-December.  Online registration will open up in early summer 2015.  They will be held on Tuesdays from 4-8 p.m. at the MSU Extension Kent County office and also at an Ottawa County location to be determined.  If you know anyone who may be interested in having their name on the 2015 waiting list, please have them contact Diane Brady at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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