Classes & Activities

Classes & Activities

​​​​​​​​​  Click to sign up to receive MSU Extension Classes e-mail updates  

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​.  

Water School

MSUE Water School: Essential Resources for Local Officials will be held on Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 5 PM at Lawrence Technological University, 21000 West Ten Mile Rd., Southfield, Michigan.

The objective of the two-day program is to provide local decision makers and appointed and elected officials with critical, relevant information needed to understand Michigan’s water resources, including the fundamentals of water science, in order to support sound water management decisions and increase awareness of current and future local and state water issues.
To find out more or to register, visit  

For more information, call 586-469-6440 or email gibb@              

Fall 2017 Master Gardener Training Course - Novi

Date: August 29, 2017 - December 5, 2017
Time: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, 28115 Meadowbrook Rd., Novi, MI 48377
Registration for the Fall 2017 Master Gardener is open

Featured Events

Oakland County 4-H Horse Camp
Date: June 18 - 22, 2017
Location: Springfield Oaks County Park​

Oakland County Fair
July 7th - July 16th
Springfield Oaks County Park

Michigan State Fair
August 31st - Sept. 4th

For a  complete listing of MSUe Oakland County and other statewide MSU Extension classes and activities, visit the MSU Extension  website events page.

Events @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.


Thursday, May 11 - Ten Important Tree Problems in Michigan with Dr. Dave Roberts - $20
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Michigan’s trees are afflicted by a range of issues, from disease and pest problems to human-induced maladies such as herbicide toxicity and poor health care. Learn from Dr. Dave what’s wrong, and what’s not!

Thursday, May 25 – Mary Gerstenberger's Container Gardening Workshop - $40 
6:30 – 8:30 pm
We garden in containers for a variety of reasons – for beauty and out of necessity. This class will include a lecture and presentation, along with a tour of our Tollgate Enabling Garden, and a hands-on portion where you get to create your own container to take home!

Thursday, June 8 – How to Succeed in Landscape Planting with Dr. Robert Schutzki – $20
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Even the best gardeners endure the grief of lost plants. In this class, we learn the necessary steps to creating a successful planting project, including plant selection, and proper planting techniques and care during the first few years of establishment.

To find more information visit: or Register Here!

MSU Extension @ The Oakland County Farmers Market

MSU Extension Health & Nutrition
8 a.m.–noon

May 20 - Asparagus  (NOTE DATE CHANGE)
Michigan’s early crop. Learn about the health benefits,
cooking methods and sample a tasty asparagus recipe.

June 3 - Spinach
Popeye was right - spinach is good for you! Find out all about spinach-how to buy for quality, storage and take home some delicious recipes.

June 24 - Strawberries
Enjoy the short but sweet season of Michigan strawberries by making strawberry freezer jam and other tasty recipes.

July 1 - Herbs
Learn how to use herbs and spices to flavor food while reducing sodium in your diet. There will be a children’s herbal activity and recipes to take home.

July 22 - Summer Squash
Learn about the different varieties of Michigan summer squash. Sample a few varieties and take home delicious squash recipes.

Aug. 5 - Blueberries
Blueberries are a super food, packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Sample some Michigan blueberries and learn how to purchase, store and preserve them properly.

Aug. 26 - Family Market Day (9 a.m.-1 p.m)
Grab some ideas for healthy school (and work) lunches through a children’s activity and nutrition/food safety information.

Sept. 9 - Sweet Corn
Learn about purchasing, storing, cooking and preserving corn, one of Michigan’s finest crops.

Sept. 23 - Apples
Discover and taste different varieties of Michigan apples and learn about purchasing for quality, storage, nutritional value and preservation. There will be recipes, tastings and
a children’s activity.

Oct. 7 - Winter Squash
Winter squash is a market staple. Learn about different varieties and how to buy squash for quality as well as preservation and nutritional value. Sample winter squash dishes and take home recipes for this abundant vegetable.

Oct. 28 - Legumes
Michigan is known throughout the world as a top producer of dried, edible beans. Children can make a bean mosaic and learn about the nutritional value of legumes.

MSU Extension Master Gardeners
9:30–11:30 a.m.

May 20 - Vegetable Pollinator
Children will learn about the importance of pollinators and plant
a tomato seedling to take home, where they will observe how they grow with the right amount of light, air and water.

June 17 - Creating a Pollinator Garden
Learn about and take home native Michigan wildflowers that attract and feed our native pollinators, including butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other insects.

July 22 - Rock ‘n’ Roll Shake
Children will make a layer model to demonstrate how sedimentary rocks are formed in rivers, lakes and oceans.

Aug. 26 - Daisy Dying (9 a.m.-1 p.m.)
When participants place daisies in colored water, they will discover how plants take up food through their roots and stems to produce flowers, fruit and leaves.

Sept. 16 - Egghead Pet
With a delicate touch, children will decorate an egg shell, then plant grass seed in it. At home, they can watch it grow and even give their egghead a haircut or two.

Oct. 21 - Bean Necklace
Make a necklace and watch how a bean seed grows under the ground. Children can then plant the bean seed in the garden and watch it grow above the ground.

MSU Extension - Oakland County 4–H
10 a.m.–noon

July 8, Aug. 26 (9 a.m.-1 p.m.), Oct. 14 and 28
Learn what 4-H has to offer youth ages 5-19; nearly 50 project areas are available. Discover the meaning behind the four Hs and how adult volunteers can make a difference giving back to the community. Free make-and-take crafts will be offered for children.

Oakland Conservation District
9 a.m.–1 p.m.
June 10 - Soil
Speak to a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service soil conservationist for advice about your soil and other natural resources. Learn about USDA programs that may benefit your property.

July 8 - Invasive Species
Learn about the threat of invasive species and how to identify, manage and prevent their spread throughout your property.

Aug. 12 - Monarchs
Come see the beauty of the Monarch butterfly from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. Learn about its life cycle and how you can help their declining population.

Sept. 9 - Invasive Species
Learn about the threat of invasive species and how to identify, manage and prevent their spread throughout your property.

Oct. 14 - 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.


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 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.     
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.