Classes & Activities

Classes & Activities

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calendar​MSU Extension-Oakland offers a variety of programs about gardening, personal finance, nutrition, and natural resources.  We also offer programming specifically for youth.

Some of our upcoming programs are listed below​.  

2018 MSU Extension Market Days

Oakland County Market
2350 Pontiac Lake Road
Waterford, Mi 48328

MSU Extension
Health & Nutrition 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

May 5 - Food Safety
Discover food safety tips while children create veggie prints on reusable grocery bags.
May 19 - Asparagus
If it’s spring in Michigan, it’s asparagus season. Learn tips for purchasing, storing and preserving for quality, along with recipes and samples.

June 2 - Early Spring Greens
Build better salads by making them healthy and tasty.

June 23 - Strawberries
Enjoy Michigan’s strawberry season by learning how to purchase, store and preserve for quality. Take home recipes and sample something “berry” wonderful.

July 21- Peppers, Anyone?
Bell peppers are nutritious and come in a variety of colors. Find out about these rainbow-colored veggies, taste samples and take home recipes.

Aug. 11 – Scavenger Hunt
Kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt at the market.

Aug. 25 - Pickles
Kids can make a pickle, take it home and finish it off in their refrigerator to enjoy later. Adults can learn about cucumbers, pickling and food preservation.

Sept. 15 – Carrots
Are carrots really good for your eyes? What are the health benefits of carrots? Find out more about nutritional value, purchasing, storing and preserving carrots. Taste a simple carrot recipe and take home recipes.

Sept. 29 - Winter Squash  
Winter squash is one of Michigan’s best crops. Find out about the different varieties and pick up recipes to take home.

Oct. 13- Potatoes  
Potatoes are a great comfort food. Find out about their nutritional value as well as tips on purchasing, storing and preserving different potato varieties.
Oct. 27 - Apples
Which apples are best suited for various purposes? Learn more about different varieties of Michigan apples.

Healthy Oakland Partnership (HOP)

Yoga at the Market
1st Saturday of the month, June 2, July 7, Aug. 4, and Sept.1   9:30 a.m.
Join Studio 8 Fitness of Waterford for a free, 45-minute lesson will take place on the grassy area to the west of the market building. Weather dependent; free yoga mats for the first 10 participants.

Walk with a Doctor
3rd Saturday of the month, June through October    9:30 a.m. June 16, July 21, Aug. 18, Sept. 15, and Oct. 20
A 30-minute walk will begin on the grassy area to the west of the market building, weather permitting.

MSUE Master Gardeners
9:30–11:30 a.m.

May 19 – Nesting Ball
In spring, birds scavenge the neighborhoods in search of perfect nesting materials. Each bird species builds its nest a little differently. Make a nesting ball and then keep an eye out for a nest in your neighborhood that used materials you provided.

June 16 – Native Pollinators
Plant and take home a Michigan wildflower to see firsthand how they attract and feed native pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other insects.

July 21 - Beany Necklace
Children will make a necklace to learn how a bean seed grows under the ground. They can plant the bean seed in their garden and watch it grow above the ground.

Aug. 18 – Daisy Dyeing
By placing daisies in colored water, participants will discover how plants take up food through their roots and stems to produce flowers, fruits and leaves.

Sept. 15 – Flower Press
Flowers are usually a fleeting pleasure, but when dried they can be enjoyed for years. For this project, each child will make a flower press, place flower heads inside and then take it home to dry.

Oct. 20 – Creating a Terrarium
Two to three small plants will be planted in a see-through container. Observing their terrariums, children will learn what plants need to survive and thrive.

Oakland Conservation District
9 a.m.–1 p.m.

April 14 - What’s new at the Oakland Conservation District? Learn about the Backyard Habitat
Certification Program, which begins in April and runs through May.

May 5 - Tree Sale
Purchase the remaining seedlings from the spring tree sale fundraiser.

May 12 - Invasive Species – Black Swallow-wort
Learn about the threat of the Black Swallow-wort invasive species and how to identify, manage and prevent its spread.

June 9 - Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is an innovative, proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks.

July 14 - Invasive Species
Learn about the threat of invasive species and how to identify, manage and prevent their spread throughout your property.

Aug. 11 - Monarchs
Come see the beauty of the Monarch butterfly. Learn about its life cycle and how you can help the declining population.

Sept. 8 - Michigan Safe Food Risk Assessment
A produce safety program that provides standards consistent with Food and Drug Administration Produce Safety rules.

Oct. 13 - Conservation Planning
Begin conservation planning for your property. As the growing season winds down for the year, now is the time to assess the past season and start planning for the next.

MSUE program funding generously provided by

2018 Master Gardener Training Course

August 22 - December 12, 2018
Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. - 9:.30 p,m,
Oakland County Executive Office Building
2100 Pontiac Lake Road

Registration Deadline July 25th
Registration Opens Soon
More information:
The Michigan Master Gardener Program webpage has a listing of all current statewide training opportunities


Conservation Stewards are volunteers who help protect and restore our state's natural areas and ecosystems. They help remove invasive species, build trails, collect data, and work with naturalists, biologists and land managers to preserve public land.
Michigan State University Conservation Stewards Program will help you gain the skills to lead or contribute to land stewardship efforts in your area.Classroom and online sessions provide education in ecology, and multiple field trips guide students through forest, grassland, wetland, lake, and stream environments. Professional-level instruction is provided by MSU Extension, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, University of Michigan, and other local experts.

Oakland County: Fall 2018 (September-October).

To find out about other locations and dates the program is being offered, and contact and registration information visit:
Michigan Conservation Steward Program

For a  complete listing of MSUe Oakland County subscribe to our newsletter, and for statewide MSU Extension classes and activities, visit the MSU Extension  website events page.

Evenings in the Garden @Tollgate Farm

MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center is revving up for another great season of classes and workshops for gardeners of all levels. Evenings in the Garden is a series of classes for beginner and experienced gardeners, homeowners, landscapers, and outdoor enthusiasts, that brings experts in to share their expertise on a variety of topics. Advance registration is required. The cost of most classes is just $20, and supports further adult education programming at MSU Tollgate.

Jun 14 – Mary Gerstenberger – Water: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

To find more information or to register visit: 


The following nutrition program series are available to community groups, organizations, and schools (age appropriate).  All classes are taught by nutrition instructors from MSU Extension.  Programs are offered at no cost to participants that qualify and can be taught in English, Spanish, Arabic or American Sign Language.  Call  248-858-0897 for further information or to schedule these programs.
With the help of a nutrition instructor and an experienced chef, Cooking Matters participants gain the skills and confidence to shop for and prepare healthy, delicious budget-friendly meals.  The program consists of 6 to 7  lessons, lasting two hours each. Each week participants will receive groceries which they can use at home to practice the recipe they learned in class!

"Cooking Matters for Adults" and "Cooking Matters for Parents" are for adults only.  "Cooking Matters for Families" is designed for parents or caretakers with children aged 8 and above; children attend all classes and actively participate.

Eat Healthy, Be Active
This series is designed to help participants make healthy eating part of their total lifestyle and to increase physical activity.  Lessons include tips on reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy on a budget, and preparing quick, healthy meals and snacks.  Food demonstrations will give participants the opportunity to try new foods.  Participants will also receive take-home nutrition information and physical activity materials. 
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. 

Healthy Foods, Healthy Families
This series is designed for families with children.  Participants will learn how to model healthy food habits and physical activity to their children.  Lessons include a nutrition overview, strategies for planning meals and how to get the most nutrition for your dollar.  Each week participants will set a food and physical activity goal that they can reach using what they have learned in class.  Food demonstrations and take-home nutrition information are also included 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.               
Food Preservation Online
Extension online courses 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.    
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.

Online Learning and Webinars

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. Contact: 517-432-7600. For further information about land use classes and activities, please contact MSU Extension-Oakland County, 248-858-0885.
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.
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.
Looking to learn more about integrated pest management (IPM)?  Then check out the Integrated Pest Management Academy Online.  These series of on-demand webinars, created by Michigan State University Extension, are designed to help Michigan growers identify pest management resources and understand IPM basics.  Registration is not required and they are available for free.  Simply visit Integrated Pest Management Academy at your convenience and view one or all of the prerecorded webinars.  Viewers can earn up to four pesticide recertification credits.  A computer with Internet connectivity, a web browser and speakers are required.

 More Events @ Tollgate Farm

(pre-registration and pre-payment required for most of the following events)

 Events @ Tollgate Farm

  • Starting and Sustaining a School Garden Tollgate 2018
    April 20, 2018 7:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. MSU Extension Tollgate Farm and Education Center, 28115 Meadowbrook Road, Novi, MI 48377
    Participants will understand the steps to design, build, and maintain a school garden.


  • Mad City Money
    April 26, 2018 5 - 7 pm Chesterfield Township Library
    Teens, think you are ready to be out on your own?


  • Spring Horse Workshop
    May 21, 2018 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. MSU Tollgate Farm & Education Center, 28115 Meadowbrook Road, Novi, MI 48377 
  • MSU 2018 Tollgate Starry Night on the Farm Family Overnight
    June 22, 2018 - June 23, 2018  MSU Tollgate Education and Conference Center, 28115 Meadowbrook Rd, Novi, MI 48377 Come celebrate the summer solstice at the 2018 Starry Night on the Farm: a family overnight adventure at Tollgate Farm and Education Center.


  • MSU Tollgate Children’s Garden Story Hour 2018
    June 28, 2018 - August 23, 2018 10 -11 a.m. MSU Tollgate Farm, Children's Garden, 28115 Meadowbrook Road, Novi, MI 48377

    A summer farm-based story hour program for children ages 2-5 years held in partnership with Novi Public Library in MSU Tollgate Farm's Children's Garden.
  • Master Citizen Planner Webinar Recordings
    July 7, 2018 - July 7, 2018
    Master Citizen Planner webinars are a convenient, online option for continuing education among Master Citizen Planners and all planning and zoning officials.
  • MSU Tollgate Farm Teaching Science Outdoors
    July 24, 2018 - July 26, 2018 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center 28115 Meadowbrook Rd. Novi, MI 48377 
    Teacher professional development workshop, Teaching Science Outdoors three-day professional development.