Upcoming Events

Earth Day 2017

Earth Day 2017 was held at Cane Creek Community Gardens at McClellan on April 17th and 18th.    Over 800 4th graders from around the County visited the Gardens over the 2 day period.  They spent their day of learning about environmental issues that affect their lives.

Many thanks to our sponsors, staff and volunteers for their help.

Longleaf Botanical Gardens Third Thursdays


Join us for the February Third Thursday program which will feature the queen of the winter garden and Alabama’s state flower, the camellia! The presenter, Hayes Jackson, has 300 different camellias in his garden. Camellias are well-suited to central Alabama landscapes. The plants are tough once established and make excellent hedges, mass plantings, and foundation plantings. Camellias come in a bewildering number of varieties and can bloom from late August through April depending on species and variety. The program will focus on a variety of unusual and stalwart cultivars. Weather permitting and plants cooperating, there will be a nice display of blooms to ogle. Join us at 5pm to discover the wonderful array of beautiful camellias and talk about camellia culture in central Alabama.

To reserve your spot, call Anniston Museum of Natural History at 256. 237-6766. Reservations are required. Cost is $5.00 per person or free to members. Payment is to be made at the time of registration and may be made by cash, check (made payable to Longleaf Botanical Gardens and earmarked for educational programs) or charge card in person or by phone).

For information on upcoming “Third Thursday” programs, as well as other Longleaf events, check out LONGLEAF BOTANICAL GARDENS on Facebook.

2017 Lunch & Learn Series

bee on cosmos

Lunch and Learn is a series of FREE gardening programs sponsored by the Calhoun County Commission and Calhoun County Master Gardeners.  Held the 4th Wednesday of each month, noon-1pm at Cane Creek Community Gardens, 77 Justice Avenue, McClellan.  Bring your lunch (and a friend!!) and learn with us!

April 26th  The Story of Alabama’s Native Americans     Speaker:  Harry Holstein, JSU Professor of Archaeology

May 24th  Planting, Transplanting & Re-Potting     Speaker:  David Doggett, Jefferson County Master Gardener

June 28th   Classy Caladiums           Speaker:  Hayes Jackson, ACES

July 26th   What’s Wrong with My Plant?          Speaker: Dr. Jim Jacobi, ACES Plant Pathology Lab

Aug 23rd   Inviting Good Insects Into Your Garden       Speaker:  Dani Carroll, ACES

Sept 27th   “T” is for Tropical        Speaker:  Hayes Jackson, ACES


*Dates and/speakers subject to change.  Contact the Calhoun County Extension Office 256-237-1621 to confirm.

Drought Emergency


MONTGOMERY – Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday signed a Drought Emergency Declaration due to extremely dry conditions.  The declaration, often referred to as a “No Burn Order”, prohibits all outdoor burning for 46 counties in north and central Alabama.  The order is effective as of 3:00pm, Wednesday, October 12, 2016.

“The current drought condition in our state is posing a serious threat for wildfires,” Governor Bentley said.  “The continued lack of rain combined with low relative humidity and strong winds put us at a very high risk.  This declaration is mean to prevent unnecessary burning, reducing the chance of avoidable fires.”

The No Burn Order affects the following counties which have been upgraded from the previously-issued Fire Alert:  Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston.

Additionally, the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has issued a Fire Alert for the remaining counties in South Alabama, effective immediately.

“We need rain desperately.  Over the past couple of weeks we’ve seen an increase, not only in the number of wildfires, but also in the size of these fires.  Several of them have been very large wildfires,” State Forester Gary Cole said.  “With this extremely dry weather, conditions are such that any fire can quickly spread out of control, not only resulting in damage to our forests but also threatening and destroying homes.  These burning restrictions are a necessary result of the ongoing lack of precipitation, the recent increased number of fires, high probability of fuel ignition, as well as the reduced availability of firefighting manpower and suppression resources across the state.”

Over the last seven days, 341 wildfires have burned over 4,100 acres in Alabama, according to AFC fire officials.

The Drought Emergency Declaration order will remain in effect until rescinded by the State Forester, at which time conditions will have changed sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires.  To report persons burning in violation of this law, contact your local law enforcement.  For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state, visit Alabama Forestry Commission’s website.

For drought updates, click here.

For information regarding Emergency Farm Loans, visit USDA .





Fall Fest 2016

fall field

Our fall farmers and crafts market, pony rides, wildlife show, several demonstrations (cast iron cooking, canning, and wood carving) were enjoyed by over 600 area residents.  The Master Gardener cake walk is always popular, as is their bake sale.  There were lots of yummy items to taste, and to take home.

Fifteen 4-H’ers who participated in the Chick Chain project this year hosted the Chick Chain Show & Auction.   Thanks to Jerry Gilbert, our auctioneer, and to area sponsors Pickette’s and Tractor Supply.

The Calhoun County Farmers Federation Women’s Committee hosted the “Grocery Give-A-Way”.    And the giant slide and bounce house for the kids, as well as a hayride and petting zoo, were well received by the kids.

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Camp Cane Creek 2016


Camp Cane Creek has come to an end. The Extension office would like to thank our camp counselors, Rachel Brinks and Brandi LaBenne, our youth counselors and all our camp participants for another successful camp. Thanks to all those who volunteered their time presenting exciting programs for the campers and to the parents who trusted us with your kids. Until next year…

Check out all of the fun we had by clicking HERE.



Calhoun County Beautification Board Awards


The Calhoun County Beautification Board recognized the recipients of their 2016 Beautification Awards on July 22nd in a ceremony at the Anniston Country Club.  Here are some pictures from the luncheon:

To nominate yourself (or your friends and neighbors) for the 2017 Awards, submit an application and 2 photos before 5/31/17.

District 1 – Barbara Ward, 1806 Walnut Ave.

District 1 - Barbara Ward

from left-Commissioner Hodges, Board Member Carol Bush, Barbara Ward, Board Member Jerome Freeman

District 1 – Josh & Wendy Pesnell, 926 Hillyer High

District 1 - Pesnell

from left-Board Member Carol Bush, Wendy & Josh Pesnell, Commissioner Hodges, Board Member Jerome Freeman

District 2 – Calvin & Maria Rogers, 400 Hillyer High

District 2 - Rogers1

from left-Board Members Janet Evans & Keli Wigley, Maria & Calvin Rogers, Commissioner Hodges

District 2 – Chris & Sherrell Waddle, 911 Dearmanville Dr N

District 2 - Waddle2

from left-Board Members Janet Evans & Keli Wigley, Chris & Sherrell Waddle, Commissioner Hodges

District 2 – David & Angie McPherson, 725 Hillyer High

District 2 - McPherson2

from left-Board Members Keli Wigley & Janet Evans, Angie & David McPherson, Commissioner Hodges

District 3-Elaine Edmondson, 936 Pinecliff Dr.

District 3 - Edmondson

Board Member Donna Carroll, Elaine Edmondson, Commissioner Hodges

District 3 – Quail Run Farm (Owner: Dick Pritchett), 6511 AL Highway 144, Ohatchee

District 3 - Quail Run Farm - Pritchett

from left:  Board Member Donna Carroll, Dick Pritchett, Commissioner Hodges

District 4 – Travis & Carol Fleming, 108 Ridgeview Dr.

District 4 - Fleming

from left-Board Member Shirley Heifner, Carol Fleming, Board Member Betty Hines, Commissioner Hodges

District 4 – Yonok’s Beauty Salon, 301 Alexandria Rd.


District 5 – Lawrence & Nancy Gillespie, 1312 Amanda Lane, SW

District 5 - Gillespie2

Board Member Charles Glazner, Nancy & Lawrence Gillespie, Commissioner Hodges, David West (CCBB Advisor/County Extension Coordinator)


To see photos of the winning landscapes, click here.