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University of Illinois Extension serving Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties

Main Office (Champaign County)
801 North Country Fair Drive
Suite D
Champaign, IL 61821
Phone: 217-333-7672
FAX: 217-333-7683
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 11:30 - 12:30pm)

Branch Office (Iroquois County)
912 W Seminary Ave
P.O. Box 163
Onarga, IL 60955-0163
Phone: 815-268-4051
FAX: 815-268-4058
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

Branch Office (Vermilion County)
3164 North Vermilion
Danville, IL 61832
Phone: 217-442-8615
FAX: 217-442-8628
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12-1pm)

Iroquois County Master Gardeners

Iroquois County Master Gardeners

The Ford-Iroquois Master Gardeners are a group of volunteers trained by University of Illinois Extension Educators to provide a network of gardening programs and horticultural activities to educate the public and enhance life in their communities. Each of the twelve active members have completed an intensive twelve week course of study, one day each week either at a face-to-face training site or using the new on-line Master Gardener training. Topics covered during training include:

  • Botany
  • Soils
  • Fertilizers
  • Composting
  • Indoor plants
  • Herbaceous Ornamentals
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Wildlife Control
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Woody Ornamentals
  • Plant Pathology
  • Turfgrass

Following their training, each Master Gardener agrees to donate at least 60 hours of volunteer time within a two-year period to the Ford-Iroquois Extension Unit. These educational projects include speaking for area organizations and classrooms, designing landscaping for local communities, answering horticulture related questions from gardening enthusiasts, and other special projects. The Idea Garden in Onarga was begun in 2004 with a mission of "Helping Others Learn to Grow". In subsequent years, Master Gardeners must complete 30 hours of volunteer service and attend 10 hours of continuing education in order to remain an active member.

Master Gardeners continue to host the popular SEASONS horticulture telenet series each year. This distance delivery format allowed experts from across the state to cover topics reflective of the changing seasons and included a question and answer period at the conclusion of each session. The $5 program fee for each telenet program is underwritten by Ford-Iroquois Extension Master Gardeners as part of their mission to educate local residents in horticulture.

Extension staff are trained to use the on-line plant clinic to assist Master Gardeners in the identification of certain insect, weed, or disease problems. Digital photographs are taken of the plant or insect sample and submitted electronically for an accurate diagnosis and recommendation from an Extension Educator who has an expertise in this area. Local residents who have used the service like the quick turn-around time and valuable information since no one can be an authority on every horticulture related issue.

What others are saying:

  • The Master Gardener training was excellent. I have been able to use the information personally and to help others improve their gardening skills.
  • Thank you for your assistance in getting the images to the University for a diagnosis. I look forward to using this service again when I have other gardening questions.
  • This was my first time to attend a gardening workshop at your office. It was very informative. I might be interested in taking the Master Gardener training next year.
  • On-line training has been perfect for me. There was no way that I would give up enough time to complete the course face to face. It has been a good course and I am learning new things as well as reviewing things thathave been storeddeep in the crevices of my mind since my college days.