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.  

March-August, 2016: Healthy Living Teen Ambassador Program
Looking for a summer volunteer opportunity? Teens ages 15-19 can learn to facilitate healthy living workshops for youth in Oakland County. Participating teens will develop leadership and public speaking skills and will also receive a partial scholarship to Exploration Days. Contact Mary Blumka at or at 248.858.0890 to apply!

May - October, 2016: Educational Programs at the Oakland County Market Join us at The Oakland County Market to learn about the fresh produce available at the market, gain gardening tips, learn about conservation efforts, get health information, and to find out what Oakland County's 4-H programs grow!

June - August, 2016: 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 - August, 2016: MSU Tollgate Children's Garden Story Hour (Ages 2-5)
Join us at MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center for summer story hour! Novi Public Library will be partnering with us to share their favorite farm-themed stories, accompanied by music and movement, process-based art, hands-on experiments and investigations, and/or games. Children will have the opportunity to visit and observe the animals in their farm habitat.

June - September, 2016:  MSU Tollgate Evenings in the Garden
The series begins June 9 and continues for a total of 7 evening classes. The classes will begin in the Conference Center with a lecture, and continue out to our gardens and grounds. The programs will be from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Stay tuned - information and registration will be on the Tollgate website soon!

  • Thursday, June 9, 2016 Sustainable Vegetable Gardening 101
  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 Gardening Made Easy
  • Tuesday, July 19, 2016 Native Plants and Beneficial Insects
  • Thursday, August 4, 2016 Tree Identification
  • Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Bringing Conservation to Cities
  • Thursday September 8, 2016 Native Shrubs & Trees
  • Thursday September 22, 2016 Honey Bees and Beekeeping

    You can regester here for any or all of the classes at Tollgate Farm.

June 4, 2016: MSU Tollgate Farm Spring Plant Sale
Visit Tollgate farm to purchase perennials and annuals! Knowledgeable Master Gardeners will be on-hand to answer all of your questions and help you make the plant selections that will make your yard pop! 
June 18-19, 2016: Starry Night on the Farm
Join us to celebrate the summer solstice at our all new Starry Night on the Farm! Investigate the night sky and enjoy the field, forest, and farm animals of Tollgate Farm while camping out with the family. Enjoy many fun opportunities to play group games, eat s'mores around a campfire, enjoy a movie and popcorn, wake up to a farm fresh breakfast, and participate in morning farm chores!  (Overnight adventure for children ages 5 - 12 with parent)        

June 19 - 23, 2016:  4-H Horse Camp (Ages 9-19)
Do you want to improve your horsemanship skills? Be more competitive in the ring? Meet other horse kids? Have FUN?! Attend the 4-H Horse Camp, an instructional camp at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg, offered to youth ages 9 -19. Select four of the specialty classes: Bareback, Dressage, English Equitation, Fitting and Showing, Gymkhana, Jumping, Pattern, Saddle Seat, Trail and Western Horsemanship!  Registration is only open until May 20th.

June 22 – 24, 2016: Exploration Days
Exploration Days is a 3 day pre-college readiness camp on campus where youth live in the dorms, eat in the cafeterias, and navigate campus and the 4-H bus system to get to their mini classes (that they selected!) on time. Extracurricular activities offered such as ice skating, swimming, playing sports at the rec centers, and the Exploration Days Dance!

June 29, 2016: Container Gardening Workshop
Create a container garden, and get expert advice from Prielipp Farms and Greenhouse staff. Bring your own container, or purchase one for $5 on site. For ages: 5-19 Parents must accompany youth. Consider entering your container garden in the Oakland County Fair. Projects created at this workshop will fall within Fair Entry Guidelines.  More information can be found on the Oakland County Fair website Questions about the program or to register, contact Mary Blumka at or at 248.858.0890.

June 27-July 1, 2016: 4-H Renewable Energy Camp (Ages 13-19)
Explore how Michigan's abundant natural resources and growing agriculture industry are changing the face of energy and what it means to your family, Michigan and the world! Highlights include Tours of on-campus Labs, the Kellogg Biological Station, MSU Power Plant, and a Wind Farm. Plus learn about Carbon Green Bioenergy and more! For more information, check out the 4-H Renewable Energy Camp Page. The cost to attend this 5-day camp is just $190!

June 27-July 1, 2016: 4-H Animal and Veterinary Science Camp (Ages 13-16)
Interested in veterinary medicine? Then the 4-H Animal & Vet Science Camp is the place for you! Learn about and work with many different species of animals large and small. The cost of this 5-day camp is $350 and includes all meals and transportation during the camp. The deadline for applications to attend this camp is April 1, 2016.

June 30, 2016:  4-H Sewing & Craft Workshop (Ages 9-19)
Want to learn basic sewing skills? This program will teach simple machine sewing techniques on a beginner project. All Materials will be provided. Workshop held at Oakland County Parks, Waterford Oaks Lookout Lodge from 12 pm - 2 pm or 2pm - 4pm. Cost is $25 4-H youth / $35 Non 4-H participants. For questions about the program or to register, contact Mary Blumka at or at 248.858.0890.

July 8-17, 2016:Oakland County Fair
Come visit the Oakland County 4-H staff at the fair for daily hands-on activities and to catch up on 4-H news and programs. Our booth will be staffed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities offered 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Want to exhibit at the fair? Visit the Oakland County Fair's website at

July 31-August 6, 2016:  Great Lakes Natural Resources Camp (Ages 13-15)
Campers explore dunes, hike forest trails, wade through wetlands, fish, snorkel and sail on Lake Huron while educators and scientists teach them about the Great Lakes ecosystem. This camp is held at Camp Chickagami in Presque Isle, Michigan. The cost of $375 covers lodging and all meals, transportation to field trips and materials. Apply to attend this camp today!

August 3-5 or August 17-19, 2016:  Cloverbud Camp - Registration Opens June 1st!!!
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 located at Waterford Oaks, an Oakland County Park, 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! 

August 16 - November 15, 2016: Fall Master Gardner Training
The Master Gardener Program is a 45 hour training program for people who are enthusiastic about gardening, who wish to use what they learn to improve communities. Classes focus 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.  Master Gardener trainees must complete 40 hours of horticulture related community or non-profit service within one year to earn their Master Gardener certification. 

September-October, 2016: Conservation Stewards Program

The Michigan Conservation Stewards Program is a volunteer training and leadership program whose mission is to deliver high quality, locally-based training opportunities to create an informed Michigan citizenry who will practice community-based volunteer conservation management activities.  MSU Extension is working with a diverse group of conservation partners to offer this program in Oakland County.  Oakland County's program is scheduled for seven Tuesday evenings and two Saturday field sessions. Concurrent courses held in Washtenaw County on Wednesday evenings, and Kalamazoo County on Thursday evenings. Scholarship applications accepted through August 12th! Registration now open!

October 4 - November 23, 2016:  Introduction to Lakes Online Course
Introduction to Lakes is a six-week online course specially designed for citizens and professionals alike that are interested in learning about inland lakes. From the comfort of home or office, participants have 24/7 access to six online units complete with closed captioned video lectures, interactive activities, additional resources, discussion forums, quizzes, and live chat sessions with classmates and Michigan State University Extension experts. Through this convenient format, participants increase their knowledge and understanding of lake ecology, watersheds, shorelines, aquatic plant management, Michigan water laws and citizen involvement in lake stewardship. This course has been approved by MDARD (Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development) for 14 Pesticide Applicator Recertification seminar credits (Commercial Core or Category 5 [Aquatics]), MDE (Michigan Department of Education) for 14 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH), and the MSUE Master Citizen Planner credits.



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!

The class series includes:
  • Participatory food preparation that provides cooking and food safety instruction
  • Engaging nutrition activities and discussions
  • Practice with food budgeting
  • Interactive grocery store visit where participants will receive a $10 budget to shop for groceries
  • Recipe book for use at home
  • Certificate of completion

"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.

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.               
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.  
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

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.
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.



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