The Saturday Gardening Series

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Summit County Master Gardeners cordially invite you to the 2024 Saturday Gardening Series.  Join us Saturday, March 2, 2024 for our 25th event featuring informative presentations, raffle baskets, good food and more.   

Date:   March 2, 2024
Time:   Doors open at 8:00 am
             Presentations begin at 9:00 am
Place:   440 Vernon Odom Blvd.
              Summit County Extension Office
               (in the Akron Urban League Building)
Cost:      $45 – includes a continental
               breakfast and a box lunch

Join us to meet new friends!




Cara Smith

Lessons Learned in the Great Gardens of England

England is known for its massive estate gardens and its rich history of landscape garden design and excellent cultural practices.  This seminar will use photos of these gorgeous gardens to draw lessons for our home gardens in both of these areas.  We will consider how we can improve our garden’s design and better care for the plants we live with.

Cara Smith was a member of the Master Gardener training class of 1999. She also worked as a landscape designer for 15 years, ten of it in her solo business, GardenSmith Landscape Design. Her gardening interests include container gardening,  perenials, vegetables, fruits, and berries—always with an eye on design. Cara also is the author of 14 Bible Study guides and was the Director of Women’s ministry at her church from 2013-2019. She and her husband Michael retired in 2020 and they enjoy travel, hiking, ballroom dance, and tandem bicycling. Cara is mother to 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren with another arriving in April.


Paul Snyder



Top Performing Plants for your Landscape

The Secrest Select program is designed to help educate homeowners, industry professionals, and students learn about trees, shrubs, and other horticulturally relevant plants proven to thrive in northeast Ohio.  Paul’s presentation will discuss the plants selected so far and the criteria used to select such plants.  Divided into three categories the outstanding plants included five trees, five shrubs and three plants in the perennials, vines, or ground cover group.

Paul Snyder is the operations manager at Secrest Arboretum. Paul started in 2010 as a college intern before being hired full-time. During his time at Ohio State, he shared a position between Secrest and the Department of Entomology under Dr. Dan Herms for several years before returning to Secrest full-time. Paul holds a Bachelor’s of Horticulture from Kent State University and a Masters in Theology from Malone University. Paul oversees garden maintenance, plant production, education, plant records, and the volunteer program which includes the Secrest Master Gardeners.


Maggie Rivera

Climate Smart Gardening

We continue to see troubling signs that the climate is changing even more rapidly than expected.  As gardeners we can have an impact and adapt to the coming changes.  This presentation covers how carbon and methane relate to gardening and what we gardeners can do to cut emissions, and what gardening practices will be important to adapt for these changes.

Maggie Rivera is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator for Ohio State University in Summit County. Before working in Summit Count, she spent four years as the Educator in Cuyahoga County. Prior to working with OSU Extension, she directed the farm business and program for Refugee Response at the Ohio City Farm in Cleveland. She earned her BS in biology at John Carroll University with an environmental studies concentration, and MS in community-based food systems from Michigan State University in 2010. Maggie completed post-graduate internships on farms in Ohio and Vermont and she has worked on farms in Ireland.


Marlo Perdicas

Studying Urban Coyotes     

Coyotes are highly adapted to the urban landscape.  Summit Metro Parks and Akron Zoo have embarked on an adventure to study wild coyotes living in downtown Akron.  Metro Parks Biologist Marlo Perdicas will introduce the project and share stories about the coyotes currently being tracked with GPS collars.

Marlo Perdicas has worked for Summit Metro Parks as a biologist for more than 20 years and manages many of the park’s citizen science programs.  She has worked on a variety of special projects with wildlife including studying coyote and bat populations in the region.  She has a master’s degree in biology from the University of Akron.  



We are mindful of the Covid uncertainty. We will follow all applicable Federal, State, and Local regulations and recommendations to enhance the safety of our members and guests.

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