Master Gardeners Help Others Learn To Grow

Illinois Master Gardener training begins on January 22 and runs through April 2, 2019. Are you interested in plants? Do you want to help others learn to grow? Then Master Gardener training may be for you. This program is offered only one time per year.

Master Gardeners involve people in improving the quality of life by:

Helping them find sound management practices for home and urban natural resources;

Creating aesthetically pleasing environments, by promoting well-being through people-plant interactions and horticultural therapy; and

Contributing to a safe, abundant food supply through home fruit and vegetable production.

This program does not require a college degree or years of experience. All you need is a sincere desire to learn and share information about gardening, and be willing to devote a small amount of time to volunteering and on-going training.

The objectives of the Master Gardener program are to:

Expand the capacity of University of Illinois Extension to distribute horticultural information to individuals and groups in local communities.

Develop and enhance community programs related to horticulture. These programs are educational in nature and may involve environmental improvements, horticultural therapy projects, community and school gardening projects, or other programs determined by local need.

Develop the leadership potential of Master Gardener volunteers through a volunteer administrative network designed to assist Extension staff in managing local Master Gardener activities and programs.

The location of the classes will split between Extension Offices in Mt Vernon and Breese. They cover a wide assortment of topics. By the end of the program, participants will have a broad knowledge of many horticulture topics that can be applied in many ways through University of Illinois Extension.

January 22 – Orientation and Botany (Mt. Vernon)

January 29 – Insects (Mt. Vernon)

February 5 – Vegetables (Mt. Vernon)

February 12 – Soils (Mt. Vernon)

February 19 – Organic Gardening and Urban Wildlife (Breese)

February 26 – Lawns (Breese)

March 5 – Diseases and Diagnosis (Breese)

March 12 – Trees, Shrubs and Vines (Breese)

March 19 – Annuals and Perennials (Mt. Vernon)

March 26 – Fruits (Breese)

April 2 – Integrated Pest Management (IPM) (location TBA)

Applications will need to be completed by Thursday, January 10 to insure that books and supporting materials arrive in time for first class.

Anyone can become a Master Gardener. To become a certified Master Gardener, volunteers commit to:

Taking the Master Gardener training program through your County Extension Office.

Volunteer 60 hours within 2 years of graduating from the Master Gardener course.

Volunteer 30 hours and take 10 continuing education hours each year following to remain certified.

Complete the annual agreement form and required background check paperwork at time of joining and every 5 years following.

Visit for additional information. For more information, please call Gail at 618-526-4551.

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