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:

August 27 - Farmers Market at the Capitol

September 2 - Farmers Market presentation (Novi)

September 3 - Senior Market FRESH (Waterford)

September 4 - Senior Day Nutrition presentation (State Fair) and Senior Market FRESH (Novi)

September 5 - Food safety presentation (Novi)

September 10 - School nutrition presentation (West Bloomfield)

September 12 - Farmers market presentation (Huron Valley)

September 15 - Senior Market FRESH (Waterford)

September 17 - Senior Market FRESH (Oakland County Farmers Market)

September 19 - Pressure canner dial gauge testing and kids nutrition activity (Oakland County Farmers Market)

September 20 - Farmers Market presentation (Franklin)

September 24 - Senior Market FRESH (Oakland County Farmers Market)

September 26 - All About Michigan Apples presentation (Oakland County Farmers Market)

September 27 - Farmers market presentation

September 29 - Farm to School presentation (Waterford)

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.

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 3, 2015:  Using Yard Waste Compost in a Corn/Soybean Rotation Field Day
This field day will be held on Thursday, September 3 in St. Clair, 4:00-7:00 pm.  No charge.  Click for details

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 4, 2015:  Destination 4-H
Please join us on Sunday, October 4th, 12-4 pm at the Oakland County Farmers Market, for a unique opportunity where families learn about the numerous possibilities available to youth and volunteers in Oakland County 4-H.  Hosted in partnership with Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development and the Oakland County Market.  Be part of an ever growing environment for children ages 5-19 to experience and discover what they have the power to achieve. Youth will have a chance to experience hands-on activities that will engage critical thinking, boost their confidence, challenge their fears and have plenty of fun in the process.  All 4-H Clubs participating in this event will receive DOUBLE points toward the 4-H Club Standard Award.  Click here to learn more about opportunities for 4-H clubs and local businesses to get involved.

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

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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