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Free educational classes offered in December | Events

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Free educational classes offered in December
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Free educational classes offered in December

Manatee County, Florida -- The Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service is offering a variety of free educational classes for December 2012.   

The Extension Service is an educational program within county government which brings the resources of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) to Manatee County to: 

  • solve local problems,
  • provide educational opportunities,
  • promote economic enhancement and development, and
  • improve the quality of life for all of our citizens.

REGISTRATION INSTRUCTIONS

Unless otherwise noted, all classes are free and are held at the Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service, 1303 17th Street West, Palmetto, Florida 34221.  Minimum workshop size is required; workshop size is limited.  Register in advance online via our website at http://manatee.ifas.ufl.edu or call 941-722-4524 for all workshops.

DECEMBER 4 – LOWDOWN ON LAWN IRRIGATION:  1-4pm; This class satisfies the irrigation education portion of the Manatee County Outdoor Water Conservation Rebate Program.  Tune up your sprinkler system, learn how to adjust the time and sprinklers, improve uniformity, eliminate water waste, and cut costs.  Presented by Lisa Hickey, Extension Agent. 

DECEMBER 8 - EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER PLANT ID TOUR:  9-11am; Stroll through De Soto National Memorial and Riverview Point Preserve to learn more about Florida’s native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat.  Suitable for all ages.  The hike begins in the parking area of the De Soto National Memorial Park at 8250 DeSoto Memorial Highway, Bradenton and enters into the Riverview Preserve.  Call the Extension Master Gardeners to register.

DECEMBER 11 – CLEAN IT GREEN:  6-8pm; Many commercial cleaners are not only hard on your wallet, they also contain harsh chemicals that can harm the environment.  Learn how to make inexpensive, effective, and environmentally-friendly cleaners for your glass, floors, and more from a few simple products you may already have on hand.  Presented by Samantha Kennedy, Extension Agent.

DECEMBER 13 – MANATEE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECT (MEEP):  2:30-4pm; Would you like to learn how to be more energy smart?  Then sign up now!  Topics include:  Energy & Money; The Home Envelope; Biggest Energy Wasters; How Can YOU Be More Efficient?; and Energy Incentive Programs.  Participants will receive a FREE Energy Conservation Kit - $200 value!  (One per household, please).  Presented by Samantha Kennedy, Extension Agent.

DECEMBER 15 - EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER PLANT ID TOUR:  9-11am; Stroll through Emerson Point Preserve to learn more about Florida’s native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat.  Suitable for all ages.  Tour begins at tower parking area at 5801 17th Street West, Palmetto.  Call the Extension Master Gardeners to register.

DECEMBER 15 – FLATFORD SWAMP PRESERVE NATURALIST HIKE:  9-11am; Be adventurous and slog through a wetland habitat slough with Lisa Hickey, Certified Master Naturalist Instructor.  Wetlands and freshwater habitats are vital natural systems that filter pollutants before they reach our surface and groundwater supply, support many wildlife species, and which are diminishing every year.  Find out more intriguing facts while walking through Flatford Swamp in eastern Manatee County.  Meet in the Preserve’s parking area located at 39450 Taylor Road, Myakka City, approximately 25 miles east of I-75.  Then as a group, we leave the parking area and drive south on Wauchula Road, 2 miles.  We will be entering the south end of the preserve and hike into the wetland habitat areas.  Call the Extension Master Gardeners to register.

DECEMBER 16 – EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER PLANT ID TOUR:  9-11am; Stroll through Robinson Preserve’s salt marshes to learn more about Florida’s native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat.  Suitable for all ages.  Tour begins at parking area near main entrance at 1704 99th Street Northwest, Bradenton.  Call the Extension Master Gardeners to register.

DECEMBER 19 – FLORIDA-FRIENDLY LANDSCAPINGTM PROGRAM VOLUNTEER TRAINING – LANDSCAPE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM:  10am-12pm; Share the “9 Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Principles” (FFL) with interested people.  Help with in-office landscape consultations with homeowners wanting to create a Florida-Friendly landscape.  Staff FFL booths at area events.  Presented by Michelle Atkinson, Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Coordinator.

MANATEE COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS OPEN EDUCATIONAL GARDENS: Located on the Extension Service grounds at 1303 17th Street West in Palmetto, the educational gardens are designed to showcase the different ways Manatee County residents can be more successful gardeners and make their yards more Florida-Friendly. The different gardens feature growing vegetables in small spaces and salad tables, recycling fountains for herbs, bird and butterfly attractors, backyard fruit trees, conserving water with native plants, low-volume irrigation, rain barrels, and various composting bins display how to recycle yard waste. The Master Gardeners invite you for a tour! To ensure that a Master Gardener can walk you through the gardens, please make an appointment by calling 941-722-4524. Staff may not be available for impromptu visits.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In addition to the workshops identified above, several other opportunities are offered to receive free gardening information:

1.  The Manatee County Master Gardener monthly E-newsletter, The Master Gardening Bench, is available to download at http://bit.ly/ManateeMGnewsletter -- look for The Master Gardening Bench on the right of the page and click on “Monthly E-newsletter.”

2.  Can’t make it to the Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service office to get advice or to solve your gardening problems?  E-mail us at manateemg@gmail.com.  Be sure to include as much information as you can in your e-mail and include your telephone number in case additional information is needed.  Attach photos if possible.  Remember, a photo can be worth a thousand words!

3.  Get FYI from FFL (Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Program). Visit the Manatee County Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Program page on Facebook and “like” us to stay current on workshops and classes, events, publications, tips for your landscape, plant information, and more.

4.  Interested in having a beautiful landscape while saving water?  Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Services offer a Mobile Irrigation Lab with a FREE evaluation of your landscape and irrigation system.  Call Bob at 941-722-4524 today to schedule your free evaluation.

5.  Ask an Extension Master Gardener! – Every 2nd and 4th Saturday (10am-1pm), come visit the Extension Master Gardener information table and get answers to your gardening questions.  Location:  Rocky Bluff Library, 6750 U.S. Highway 301N, Ellenton.

6.  Ask an Extension Master Gardener! - Every 2nd Saturday (10am-1pm) Visit the Extension Master Gardener information table and get answers to your gardening questions.  Location:  South Manatee Library, 6081 26th Street West, Bradenton.

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