All Classes & Activities
Oakland County, MichiganMSU ExtensionAll Classes & Activities

All Classes & Activities

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calendarMSU Extension-Oakland offers a variety of programs about gardening, personal finance, nutrition, and natural resources.  We also offer programming specifically for youth. Below is a chronological list of all our upcoming programs.  



Upcoming 2015 programs being presented by Robin Danto, Food Safety & Nutrition Extension Educator:

July 30 - Story Time in the Garden (Waterford)

July 31 - Senior nutrition program (Clarkston)

August 1 - Children's program and rainbow produce bracelets activity (Oakland County Farmers Market)

August 2 - Farmers Market food safety program (Franklin)

August 4 - Senior Market FRESH coupons distribution (Farmington Hills)

August 4 - Senior Market FRESH presentation (Oak Park)

August 5 - Senior Market FRESH presentation (Lathrup Village)

August 11 - Story time in the Garden (Waterford)

August 12 - Senior Market FRESH (Lathrup Village Farmers Market)

August 13 - Senior Market FRESH (Oakland County Market)

August 15 - All About Peaches presentation (Oakland County Farmers Market)

August 16 - Farmers Market Program (Birmingham)

August 17 - Seniors nutrition presentation (Huntington Woods)

August 19 - Market FRESH (White Lake)

August 20 - Meet Up and Eat Up Summer Feeding program nutrition presentation (Waterford)

August 22 - Senior Market FRESH (Huron Valley Farmers Market)

August 24 - Summer feeding program nutrition presentation (Waterford)

August 25 - Senior Market FRESH nutrition presentation (Oak Park)

August 26 - Children’s nutrition activity (Lathrup Village Farmers Market)

August 27 - Farmers Market at the Capitol

September 19 - Pressure canner dial gauge testing (Oakland County Farmers Market)

June - August 2015: Summer Camp at Tollgate Education Center
Throughout the summer multiple camps and themes are offered at Tollgate Education Center in Novi.  Activities such as harvesting fruits and vegetables, preparing healthy snacks, caring for farm animals, exploring the acres of woodland, archery, canoeing, horseback riding, challenge course activities, building, and more are offered at various times during camp.  The camp registration fee is $280.00 for a week-long camp.  Discounts are offered to those who register with siblings and/or for multiple weeks of camp.  Aftercare is offered until 6:00 pm.  For more information and to register for camp, visit the Tollgate Education Center web site or contact
June 1 - September 1, 2015:  Book Your Organization’s Summer Outreach Program Today!
Every year Oakland County MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development offers special introductory educational programs to bring a sense of adventure and fun to help enrich summer youth activities.  Three new summer outreach programs will be offered for area libraries, community centers, and youth groups to book. Sessions are available Mondays and Tuesdays starting June 1st through September 1st. Programs to choose from:
Super Hero Science (ages 5-11)
Super Animal Adaptation (ages 5-11)
Animation Unmasked (ages 12-19)
Programs are interactive and include hands-on activities.  See brochure for costs and details.  To book your session, contact Margi Stockert at 248-858-0889. For questions about program content, contact Mary Blumka at 248-858-0890.
June 13 - September 19, 2015:  2015 Summer Discovery Cruises
Summer Discovery Cruises offer anyone interested in exploring Lake Erie, the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair the opportunity to get out on the water for an educational experience. Cruisers can learn about many aspects of the lakes, from lighthouses, shipwrecks, bootleggers and history and culture of the region to fish, ecology, restoration and wind, waves and water — and much more, depending on the cruise theme.

There are more than 20 cruise themes to choose from. Most cruises range from 2.5 hours to 4 hours on the water and range in price from $15-$30 per person. Ages six and older are welcome on the cruises.

July 27-31, 2015: 4-H Eco-Challenge 2015

The theme for 2015 is eco-invasion.  Learn about how invasive species disrupt our eco-systems and how technology and problem-solving can be used to make our world a better place.  The task over the 5-day program will be to create an actual robot capable of removing invasive species from a location without disturbing the native species.  Youth participants (ages 12-17) will get hands-on opportunities with:

  • Lego EV3 Mindstorm kits
  • Robotic programming languages
  • GPS units and GIS software
  • Data loggers
  • Microscopes
  • Invasive species identification
  • Nature walks, talks and more

It will take place at Indian Springs Metropark Environmental Discovery Center off White Lake Road, 5200 Indian Trail, White Lake, MI 48386. It will be from 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.for ages 12–18.

Early registrations May 1– July 4 and will cost $100. Normal registration is July 5 - 18 and will cost $120, Onsite registration $140.. Registration includes a t-shirt, lab fees and material fees. Registration does not include the following:  $10 4-H member registration (If not a 4-H member in 2014), lunch, $7 daily park entry pass for Indian Springs Metropark.   A $30 annual pass can be purchased that is valid at all Huron-Clinton Metroparks. 

Who should attend?  Youth interested in hands-on interactive and experiential learning activities relating to engineering, science, discovery, biology, nature, and fun!

Click here to register

For more information, contact Jason M. Scott at 248-858-0892.

August 3, 2015:  Protecting Michigan's Inland Lakes

This workshop will help local officials and concerned citizens understand the benefits of inland lakes to communities, the regulations that govern them, and the opportunities for enhancing protection at the local level. Lunch provided.  Registration extended and required.  Click here for more information or to register.

August 11, 2015:  Soil Test Interpretation Class

Learn to interpret and understand your soil test results!

Lawn and garden plants require 18 nutrients for healthy growth and productivity. The soil is a reservoir of these nutrients. Plants utilize these nutrients but they need to be replenished from time to time. By having your soil tested you can learn which nutrients are present and which ones need to be added depending on the plant(s) you are trying to grow. You can avoid over-application of fertilizers which can waste money, reduce plant quality and pollute streams, lakes and groundwater.  See flyer for details and registration.
August 15-16, 2015:  4-H Family Fun Weekend
Location: Kettunen Center, 14901 4-H Drive, Tustin, MI, 49688
Explore all that 4-H has to offer! This weekend will be action-packed and full of new experiences for the entire family. Youth, ages 5-8, and their parent/guardian/caregiver are encouraged to attend this workshop to learn about 4-H! Sessions will provide youth with opportunities to learn about 4-H projects and life skills, the Four-H’s of 4-H, and other Michigan activities and events for 5-8 year old youth involved in 4-H. Parents/guardians/caregivers who attend will learn about 4-H programming specifically designed for the 5-8 year old audience, how to make the most of 4-H experiences, and Michigan 4-H facilities, workshops, and programs. Families will learn and grow together while exploring Kettunen Center and 4-H! 
August 19-21, 2015:  Cloverbud Camp
Now offering a camp experience specifically designed for your 5-8 year olds.  Oakland County 4-H Cloverbud Camp offers hands-on learning activities, crafts and active play throughout the day.  This camp will be held at Lookout Lodge (Waterford Oaks County Park in Waterford) from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm each day. 

Our camp provides a positive and collaborative atmosphere where Cloverbuds can thrive.  Fun activities include: trips to Paradise Peninsula Playscape, crafts, nature hikes, chemistry activities, and more!   A snack and t-shirt are provided. 

Please pack a sack lunch! (No peanuts please!)

Check-in is  9:00 to 9:30 am and check-out is 2:30-3:00 pm.

Daily themes:

  • Wednesday, August 19 - Mad Scientist
  • Thursday, August 20 -  Make It Count
  • Friday, August 21 - Barnyard Bonanza

Price: $35/Day

Register now; space in this camp is limited to maintain low staff- to-camper ratios.  Your spot cannot be held for more than 10 days without payment.  Once payment is received there are no refunds.  Registration for this camp closes August 5th.

Contact person:  Mary Blumka, 248-858-0890.

August 20-November 19, 2015:  2015 Fall Master Gardener Class
The Master Gardener Program is a volunteer leader training program for people who are enthusiastic about gardening, who wish to use what they learn to improve communities.

We’re pleased you are interested in the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program (MGP) and trust it will be a rich and rewarding experience for you. This class will be held on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MSU Tollgate Education Center, 28115 Meadowbrook Rd., Novi, Michigan 48317 running from August 20 to November 19, 2015. The cost of the 14-week program is $300, which includes the 1,000-page training manual. Master Gardener volunteers start by completing a 13-session practical curriculum ground in university research. This training consists of approximately 45 hours of training with classes on plant science, soil science, integrated pest management, diagnostics, annuals and perennials, woody ornamentals, lawns, vegetables, small fruits, tree fruits, household and nuisance pests and gardening practices to protect water quality.  After completing the training, Master Gardener trainees must complete 40 hours of horticulture-related service within one year to earn their Master Gardener certification. There are no other out-of-pocket costs. The registration deadline for this training class is August 4, 2015 for payment by check and August 18, 2015 for payment by credit card. Contact:  Lynne Shull at 248-858-0887. Click here to register

September 8 - October 10, 2015: Conservation Stewards Program for Washtenaw and Kalamazoo Counties
The Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) is now enrolling students for its Washtenaw and Kalamazoo programs. Click here for more CSP class information and to register. The Michigan CSP is a volunteer leader training program designed for those interested in science-based ecosystem management principles and sharing this knowledge with others to help restore and conserve ecosystems throughout Michigan communities.  For additional information, please contact Shari Dann, MSU Extension Conservation Specialist, 517-432-0267 or Bindu Bhakta, MSU Extension Natural Resources Educator, or 248-858-5198.

September 10, 2015:  How To's of Renovating a Perennial Bed
Perennials don’t last forever.  Beds that are six or seven years old benefit greatly from a partial or total renovation.  If some of your plants have gotten too large and others have disappeared or you’re just tired of the looking at the same plants year after year, don’t miss this class!  Janet Macunovich will guide us with a step-by-step approach to take apart what’s there, give old plants and soil new life, and change the design to rekindle it’s faded glory.  Registration deadline is September 1, 2015 (sorry, no walk-ins). 

September 19 - Pressure canner dial gauge testing (Oakland County Farmers Market)
Attention all home canners!  Oakland County MSU Extension will be checking pressure canner gauges on Saturday, September 19 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford from 10:00-11:00 am.

What you need to know before having your pressure canner gauge tested:
  • Pressure canners have either a dial gauge or a weighted gauge to indicate and regulate pressure.
  • Weighted gauges rock gently or make a jiggling noise to indicate they are maintaining the proper pressure. Weighted gauges do not need testing for accuracy.
  • Dial gauges, on the other hand, should be tested for accuracy each year. Gauges that read high will lead to under-processed products that may result in canned goods that are unsafe to eat. Low readings cause over-processed foods with reduced quality. Pressure adjustments can be made if the gauge reads up to 2 pounds off either way. Gauges that differ by more than 2 pounds of pressure must be replaced.
For more information, contact Robin Danto at 248/858-0904 or

September 19-20, 2015:  Tollgate Fall Fair
Join us at MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center on September 19th and 20th for the annual Fall Fair!  This is a free family-friendly event that includes children’s crafts, activities, and educational presentations on site.  Garden tours, hay rides, fishing, and many more activities will be set up for the public to enjoy.  Local organizations and vendors will be present as well.  MSU Tollgate’s garden volunteers make this event possible, acting as guides, conducting activities, offering refreshments, and sharing information.   MSU Tollgate Farm is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm, but the Fall Fair is an opportunity to get a unique and guided experience on the farm.

October 6 - November 18, 2015:   Introduction to Lakes Online
Michigan is blessed with over 11,000 inland lakes, each providing unique recreational, scenic, and environmental benefits. These inland lakes are complex ecosystems, and are often negatively impacted by both the people that live near them as well as the water that drains into them. Introduction to Lakes is a six-week online course specially designed for citizens and professionals alike that are interested in learning about inland lakes.

Enrollment is currently open through October 1, 2015. This course begins October 6th and ends on November 18th.

For more information click on;

Ongoing:  The following nutrition program series are presented to community groups, organizations, and schools (age appropriate) by MSU Extension staff.  Programs are offered in English, Spanish, Arabic or American Sign Language.  Call  248-858-0897 for further information or to schedule these programs.
Cooking Matters for Adults is a nutrition program where participants will learn how to eat healthy, cook and grocery shop on a limited budget. The program consists of six lessons, lasting approximately two hours each. With the help of an experienced chef and nutrition educator, participants will gain the skills and confidence to make healthy, budget friendly meals for their family.
Each week, participants will receive take-home food, which they can use at home to practice a recipe they learned in class. The class series also includes:
  • Participatory food preparation that provides cooking and food safety instruction
  • Engaging nutrition activities and discussions
  • Practice with food budgeting
  • Interactive grocery store visit and $10 challenge
  • Recipe book for use at home
  • Certificate of completion
  • Short physical activity component lasting 5 minutes or less
Class series are taught throughout the community, including but not limited to community centers, churches, schools and local MSU Extension offices. Group series are available if there are six to 15 people, and at least half of the group is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible.
This series is aimed at helping parents/caregivers make simple and tasty meals for their families that won't break their bank.  MSU Extension-Oakland nutrition instructors will provide nutrition education, food demonstrations and take-home materials. The class series also includes a short physical activity component lastng 5 minutes or less.
This nutrition series consists of fun, interactive activities for 55-74 year olds designed to encourage older adults to increase fruit and vegetable consumption as well as physical activity. 

Learn to stretch your food dollars to fit your meal plan, learn about food preservation and maintain a healthy weight with Eating Right is Basic from Michigan State University Extension. This eight to 10 week session can be offered in a variety of community settings. Participants will learn about goal setting, custom nutrition and physical activity to suite each person, eating more fruits and vegetables, portion sizes, becoming familiar with Dietary Guideline numbers, Food labels 101, healthy habits and fat facts.  High school students and adults can participate in this series.

Healthy Harvest
Growing your own vegetables has many benefits, including healthier eating and reduced stress. The Healthy Harvest program is designed to help participants learn basic gardening skills and use what they grow to prepare healthy and tasty meals. The program is a partnership of MSU Extension’s health and nutrition and Master Gardener programs.

Show Me Nutrition
This 6-week program is aimed at an audience of pre-kindergarten through 8th grade.  These lessons are interactive and appeal to a wide variety of learning styles.  Many of the activities are hands-on and each lesson has a book that accompanies it to reinforce literacy.  Each grade level is age-appropriate.  Topics covered:  food safety, positive body image, world hunger, physical activity and general nutrition. 
Ongoing:  Food Preservation Correspondence Course 
A correspondence course for anyone wishing to learn canning, freezing, or drying techniques using up-to-date information and methods so the food preserved is safe to eat.  Contact:  Robin Danto at 248-858-0904.

Ongoing:  Michigan Cottage Food Law Food Safety Training
The Michigan Cottage Food Law allows Michigan residents to manufacture and store particular foods in an unlicensed kitchen, such as a residential home. Through this program participants will learn about the Cottage food law and other principles you can use to provide safe products. Cottage Food Law and Safety training educates on preparing and selling foods under the Cottage Food Law, producing a safe food products, production, packaging and labeling, storing and transporting.  Cost: $10.00.
The Tollgate Farm Center offers year-round educational field trips for school or youth groups.  Hands-on, interactive and engaging lessons are intertwined with real-life applications.  They create experiences that complement school curriculum and customize programs to be relevant and enriching.

Upcoming Webinars

Building Early Emotional Skills in Young Children: A Workshop for Parents
Join the MSU Extension's new online summer series for parents beginning June 29, 2015.  Meet virtually with other parents, find support in an online forum and develop helpful knowledge during a weekly webinar.  The 8-week series will address topics including stress, communicating with kids and handling tantrums.  These online trainings are available at no cost to Michigan residents with children ages birth to 3 years old.  Preference is given to families eligible for assistance programs such as WIC, Head Start, etc.  Email Carrie Shrier or call 517-552-6904 to enroll.

Get the Facts: The Affordable Care Act in Michigan Webinars (Mondays at 3:00 pm)
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as PPACA, ACA, health reform law, ObamaCare) affects residents’ access to and use of the country’s healthcare system and insurance policies. Individuals and families who have insurance through their employers, the private market, or through public programs, as well as those without insurance, are all affected in various ways. How much can I afford? Why is it important? What do I need and want? Lean how to make the Smart Choice . Join us live online to learn how you can get the most out of your health insurance. Webinars will be held Mondays at 3:00 pm for the foreseeable future.  To participate, log on to: Click “Guest” and type in any name. Your participation is anonymous. No personal information will be collected. If you don’t have a computer with a high-speed connection and speakers, visit your local library for access.
  eHome Money is a personal guide to financial health.  It's a fun, informative, low-cost course that you take online at your own pace, on your own schedule, at any computer.  With eHome Money you learn the steps you can take to reduce debt, raise your credit score and improve your whole financial picture.
As a HUD and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) certified agency, MSU Extension has been providing housing education for over 20 years.  By completing the online eHome America course and learning about available local, state and federal housing financing programs, participants can take positive steps to reach their goal of home ownership.  In order to receive a certificate of completion participants will need to complete a discussion (in-person or via phone) with a Michigan State University Extension Certified Housing Counselor.
Whether you already have a financial services provider, or are trying to select one, this course will give you the confidence to effectively evaluate your options and make the choice that's right for you.  What's the difference between a broker, an adviser and a financial planner?  What do all the titles and designations mean?  How can their background and credentials be checked out?  What services should you insist on having provided?  When interviewing a prospective financial services provider, how do you differentiate between a straight-talking professional and a flimflam salesman?   (This webinar was recorded on September 25, 2012.)
Legally Secure Your Financial Future 
Organize, Communicate, Prepare is a comprehensive series to help you get organized, communicate with others and begin preparing your estate plan.
 Investing For Your Future is an 11-unit home study course that was developed by the Cooperative Extension system for beginning investors with small dollar amounts to invest at any one time. It was assumed that many readers will be investing for the first time or selecting investment products, such as a stock index fund or unit investment trust, that they have not purchased previously.  The course units were developed in a logical order. "Basic" topics such as setting goals, investment terms (e.g., diversification, dollar-cost averaging, asset allocation), and finding money to invest lay a foundation to help readers understand how and why they’re investing.  After exploring "the basics," the course describes specific types of investments (e.g., stocks and bonds) in detail. Finally, Investing For Your Future concludes with additional topics of use to investors: available resources, how to select professional financial advisors, and information to help you avoid becoming a victim of investment fraud. You can choose to read the entire course, in any order that makes sense to you, or select only those topics that are of most interest.
Michigan Citizen Planner Online 
Michigan Citizen Planner Online is designed to equip volunteer community leaders with the technical knowledge and leadership skills needed to perform their duties more effectively.   Conta​ct:  517-432-7600.

For further information about any classes or activities, please contact MSU Extension-Oakland County, 248-858-0880. 

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