Extension Educator, Horticulture
January 31, 2007
University of Illinois Extension
Academic Hourly (part time)
Cook County Extension Position Description
Title: Horticulture Assistant:
Purpose and Scope of Position
The Horticulture Assistant will work as a team member with other Cook County personnel. This person will implement assigned educational programs that are designed to foster the acquisition of knowledge and the development of individuals and communities in Urban Horticulture. Horticulture Assistants secure and coordinate the efforts of volunteers, facilitate planning and marketing efforts, and network and/or collaborate with community organizations and groups to address their educational needs.
This is a security-sensitive position. Comprehensive background checks, including but not limited to a criminal conviction information check, a CANTS (Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System) check, and a review of the Registered Sex Offender list will be conducted.
Administrative & Organizational Relationship
The Horticulture Assistant is administratively responsible to the Cook County Director and/or Associate County Director with program guidance, leadership and supervision from the Urban Horticulture Educator. This position is a part time hourly position and is contingent upon the availability of funds appropriated annually. The work will be done in a 25- 30 hour workweek and a maximum of 7.5 hour da
1. Comply with all University of Illinois Extension and Cook County policies and procedures in programs, outreach and employment.
2. Work with Extension Urban Horticulture Educator in implementation and reporting of program evaluations for Master Gardener and Interns activities such as Master Gardener Information Desk, Speaker's Bureau, Urban youth gardening projects, and other community based volunteer programs.
3. Work with Extension Urban Horticulture Educator to maintain a database of all Master Gardener projects, collect and report all data and contact reports in the regional web-based Master Gardener reporting site.
4. Coordinate the development of the monthly Master Gardener Newsletter, Hort Happenings Newsletter.
5. Coordinate development of resources for the Speaker's Bureau program, confirmations, record keeping, promotion and publicity.
6. Assist in the scheduling of Master Volunteer's monthly meetings, continuing education opportunities, field trips and special events.
7. Assist in the coordination of Master Gardener project confirmations, program logistics and activities for specific program related tasks, such as travel, equipment, facilities use and other supplies.
8. Work with Extension Urban Horticulture Educator to respond to all consumer and volunteer requests for assistance in a timely manner and make concerted efforts to have University of Illinois Extension programs reach diverse audiences.
9. Assist in the dissemination of program efforts and horticulture information to the general public, targeted and underserved audiences and local politicians.
10. Networks and collaborates with community organizations to enhance the urban horticulture program.
11. Adhere to the University's and local unit's use of leave time (both vacation and sick).
12. Perform other duties that contribute to Extension programming as assigned.
Minimum Acceptable Qualifications
Credentials verified by placement office
8. Knowledge and use of computer technology (Computer literacy).
Third District Circuit Court Building
2121 West Euclid Avenue-Room251
Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008 Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
Cook County/North Suburban Unit
1699 Wall Street, Suite 500
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
Letter of Interest relating to the position available
Three (3) current letters of reference (preferably sent directly by those providing the reference and should have full contact addresses).
High School Diploma and (any other diplomas or certificates you might possess).
Send Application materials to: Deadline for application is February 10th, 2007
Cook County/North Suburban Unit
Lake Park Corporate Center
1699 Wall Street, Suite 500
Mount Prospect, Illinois 60056
University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.
January 31, 2007
Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park
9a.m.to 3 p.m.
JANUARY 22 ORIENTATION AND BOTANY-Dr. Maurice Ogutu Extension Educator, Horticulture
JANUARY 29 SOILS-Ellen Phillips, Extension Educator, Crop Systems
FEBRUARY 5 WOODY ORNAMENTALS/Pruning-James Schuster, Extension Educator, Horticulture
FEBRUARY 12 VEGETABLES-Dr. Maurice Ogutu, Extension Educator, Horticulture
FEBRUARY 19 HERBACEOUS PLANTS – Annuals, Perennials and Ornamental Grasses/Greg Stack, Extension Educator, Horticulture
FEBRUARY 26 FRUITS-Dr. Maurice Ogutu, Extension Educator, Horticulture
MARCH 5 INSECTS- Russell Higgins, Extension Educator, Integrated Pest Management
LANDSCAPE DESIGN – Anne Gachuhi, Extension Educator, Horticulture
MARCH 12 VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY DAY – Elizabeth Bruhns, Chicago Master Gardener Coordinator
MARCH 19 PLANT PATHOLOGY/James Schuster, Extension Educator, Horticulture
Interns will receive their Final Exams, which must be returnedby April 9,2007
MARCH 26 ORGANIC GARDENING DAY
Basic Organic Gardening – Kirsten Akre, Coordinator, Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse
Water Gardens – Beata Welsh, Sue Cubberly-Chicago Master Gardeners
Worm Vermiculture-Nancy Kreith, Extension Horticulture Program Coordinator
APRIL 2 WHAT IS A UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION VOLUNTEER?
Larry Wilson, Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development
DATA BASE INSTRUCTION – Elizabeth Bruhns, Chicago Master Gardener Coordinator
APRIL 9 PESTICIDE SAFETY-Russell Higgins, Extension Educator, Integrated Pest Management
Interns will receive the two take home quizzes with return envelopes.
Final Exams Due
APRIL 16 Snow Day
January 31, 2007
"Pubs Plus is a source for books, CDs, and other educational materials prepared by experts in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences," explained Molly Bentsen, U of I Extension communications specialist. "It is a continuation of something Extension has been doing for years--offering fact-based information to people who can put it to work in their own homes, businesses, classrooms, and lives."
Bentsen said that recent revisions to the website have improved its search mechanisms, making it easier for users to get to the information they need. Items can be purchased online through the use of a credit card. Once, such publications were only available for purchase through check or money order and the transactions came by mail, phone or FAX (purchasers can still use all those methods in addition to ordering online).
"The educational materials available cover a wide range of topics," Bentsen noted. "For instance, agricultural producers have access to a variety of publications and products to help them in their enterprises. There are materials helpful to commercial horticulturists and a web-based record-keeping program for students with FFA projects. Teachers can find agriscience kits and other instructional resources for their classes from kindergarten through high school."
Materials are grouped under the following areas: Agriculture; Classroom Materials; Dollars and Sense; Environment; Family Matters; Gardening; Healthy Living; and Leadership and Community.
"Spanish products are being added as soon as they become available," Bentsen noted. "New and seasonal items and special promotions will be updated regularly. Visitors can also choose to receive e-mail alerts about new publications in their areas of interest."
News writer: Bob Sampson
January 31, 2007
January 30, 2007
On January 30 begin the new year with a real treat. Chicago Master Gardener Len Boral has arranged a slide show of beautiful spring and summer blooms.
6:30 p.m. - Pot Luck Dinner
6:50 p.m. - We will show you the results of the new Master Gardener database entries. You are going to be proud of what you have accomplished!
7:15 p.m. - Len Boral and "Flowers of Chicago"
Chicago Master Gardener Coordinator
January 30, 2007
Fundamentals of landscaping with native plants is on the agenda for this month's meeting of the Wild Flower Preservation Society at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West, 1:15 p.m., Thursday, February 1.
Denise Sandoval, Good Natured Landscapes, Naperville will talk about selecting the right plants for a site, discuss different native plant gardens and offer design tips and other suggestions for using native plants. Diversified landscapes to attract birds, butterflies and beneficial insects and how to make them happen will also be covered. Two of GNL's Lincoln Park clients plan to attend to talk about their gardens. The group meets for a Dutch-treat lunch at 11:30 a.m. at the Original Pancake House, 2020 North Lincoln Park West.
The meetings of the group which are free earn one hour of continuing education credit in the Master Gardener program. Annual dues are $10 and the 94-year-old group is dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of wild flowers.
312.787.0072 or firstname.lastname@example.org
January 28, 2007
Chicago Master Gardener Coordinator Elizabeth Bruhns emailed me her version of "You Might Be a Master Gardener If..." that she uses with her new Chicago Master Gardener interns.
How do you know if you are Chicago Master Gardener material?
Do you always read the "Home and Garden" section of the Sunday Newspaper first?
Do you have gardening books on your nightstand?
Did you spend more on you hand held clippers than you did on your last pair of earrings?
Do you know how to sharpen you own clippers?
Have you ever been mistaken for staff at Gethsemane Garden Center?
Do you have more flower space and less grass in you garden every year? Give yourself two more points if you sold your lawn mower at your last garage sale.
Do you give your neighbors garden advice, even when they don't ask for it?
Do you ever claim to be bilingual because you know the Latin names of all your perennials?
Have you ever-deadheaded plants in a public garden?
Have you ever asked the hostess of a large party for the coffee grounds for your compost pile?
Have you ever bought a bedraggled flat of annuals in July because you feel sorry for them?
If one or more of these gives you a twinge, you might be a Master Gardener in the making.
January 25, 2007
Do you have an interest in growing vegetables? The Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Newsletter is targeted towards commercial growers, but offers a lot of good information for the home gardener.
January 25, 2007
We are moving forward with The Growing Connection (TGC)program. TGC uses the earthbox to connect students around the world through the growing of food. Currently, we are working with Chef's Michael Altenberg and Greg Kaminski. Michael and Greg are opening an organic based restaurant on the north side of Chicago - Crust.
With the help of students from theChicago High School for Agricultural Sciences we are growing twelve cool season crops using earthboxes in the Ag. School greenhouse.The boxes were planted on January 17 and 18 and already have many sprouts.The earthboxes will be on display at Crust in February. As part of the restaurant, a sunroom was added and the Chefs will continue to grow crops as they harvest them. Thank you Crust for helping us promote TGC. Grow and eat locally!
Please check back for details on TGC/EarthBox training, scheduled for March 24, 2007.
January 25, 2007
We are planning a "How to Build an Indoor Worm Bin" demonstration for the North Kenwood/Oakland pre-K to 5th grade school on February 6, 2007 at 10 a.m. The school is located at 46th and Woodlawn. We will be presenting to four classrooms. Students in each class will prepare the bedding for each worm bin. By the time we are finished each class will have it's own worm bin. Students will be responsible for the care and feeding of the worms.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact Nancy Kreith at 773-233-0476 or email at email@example.com
January 25, 2007
Keller Regional Gifted Center is a school for elementary grade students, located right here in Mt. Greenwood. Elizabeth Bruhns and Nancy Kreith met with the principal and a devoted parent at the school on January 11, 2007. The school has developed a garden plan, which includes a hummingbird habitat; butterfly garden, small vegetable plot and outdoor classroom. The U of I Extension will be assisting the school with the design layout, grant writing and installation.We hope to fund and construct three raised beds for growing vegetables.
If you are an interested Master Gardener, please contact Nancy at 773-233-0476 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
January 24, 2007
Dear Urban Gardening enthusiast:
Did you know that you can only enjoy BUGs-Building Urban Gardens-once a year?
Now some of you are probably wondering what we mean when we say "enjoy bugs". Of course, it could also be the last thing on your mind.
However, the kind of BUGs we're talking about is an organic gardening class offered by Openlands only in the spring and only at the Garfield Park Conservatory on Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.-January 27-March 24.
And, for only $100.00 you can attend 8 Saturday morning classes led by experts in organic, creative and economical gardening techniques. At the end of the series you will have a sustainable garden plan for your real or imaginary garden and be prepared to volunteer in Chicago's Community Gardens. You will become a part of the celebrated network of Greeners in the City.
The first class is this Saturday, January 27,so you will have to hurry to secure your place at the table. You can email Julie Samuels at JSamuels@openlands.org or just return the registration form as soon as you can. If you have already taken this class, send this along to a friend who is looking for a warm place to spend 8 Saturday mornings this winter.
Hope you can join us.... it's fun, and you will be surprised how your world will "grow" when it has BUGs in it.
Community Outreach Coordinator
25 E. Washington, Suite 1650
Chicago, IL 60602
January 23, 2007
We have received news that Larry Urbaniak,Class of 2002, has suffered a stroke. He is reported to be resting and recovering in the hospital.
Get well cards may be sent to:
3340 W. 66th Place
Chicago, IL 60629
Larry has been our "go to guy" for any type of volunteer work. He logged 238 volunteer hours in 2006! Just yesterday, he spent the day at Garfield Park Conservatory with set up and take down for the new MG Intern Class. Please wish him a speedy recovery, we need him back!
January 23, 2007
As I was researching some information about other state Master Gardener programs on the Internet, I came across this "You might be a Master Gardener if..." sayings on the Michigan State University Extension web site. Check these out and see if any of them refer to you. Here are a few examples: "You might be a Master Gardener if..."
You're thrilled to win the bat guano door prize at the conferences.
You pretend to work at a nursery and answer the customer's questions regarding a plant he just bought.
Latin names actually mean something to you.
You go out to the garden at 3 a.m. with a flashlight to catch slugs in action.
January 22, 2007
I want to thank Elizabeth Bruhns and Nancy Kreith for their work over the last few weeks to train Master Gardeners on how to use the new Master Gardener Database. Elizabeth held more than 15 training opportunities for Master Gardeners at both Garfield Park Conservatory and the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. She also met with many Master Gardeners individually teaching them how to input their hours, plus answered many emailed questions about the submission process.
Nancy Kreith has entered volunteer hours for many master gardeners into the database.The database will allow us to more accurately track Master Gardener's volunteer hours. As of Friday, January 19 more than 7,400 hours have been entered into the database.
January 19, 2007
Like many college students, Matt Dingledein didn't follow a straight path academically to a career. "I started my undergraduate career as a music performance major at DePaul University," said. "Then I went on to complete an AAS in Ornamental Horticulture at the College of DuPage." After getting his associate's degree, Dingledein went into business for himself as owner and operator of a small landscape contracting business in Naperville.
Dingledein wanted to continue studying and work toward a bachelor's degree in horticulture, but moving or commuting to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was out of the question. "My being away would have made maintaining my client base very difficult and the investment required was also a large deciding factor," said Dingledein.
Dingledein is now taking horticulture classes in a new U of I degree program being offered in the Chicago area.
In fall 2006, the University of Illinois began partnering with Chicago area community and city colleges to offer a bachelors degree in horticulture. Students who have completed an associate degree such as Dingledein can complete their final two years of coursework taught by resident faculty in the Chicago area or faculty from campus and earn a bachelors degree from U of I at Urbana-Champaign -- without relocating.
Most of the courses are offered at the Multi-University Center in Oak Brook, Morton Arboretum in Lisle and the Chicago Botanical Garden. In the future, classes will meet at the University Center at Lake County and satellite locations in the collar counties such as Chicago's Center for Green Technology.
The program is particularly helpful to non-traditional students -- typically working professionals who are managing school, work and family. The University, community, and city colleges hope this will provide an opportunity for students to pursue their horticulture degree without "pulling up roots." The majority of courses are offered in the evening and weekends in order to accommodate student workday schedules. Some courses may be offered on-line or via video conferencing when appropriate. But, because the program results in a diploma from the U of I at Urbana-Champaign, the curriculum requirements and course quality will be the same as if the courses had been taken at the main campus.
"Jobs in the green industry are abundant," said Wesley M. Jarrell, head of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on the Urbana-Champaign campus. "A 2003 Green Industry survey conducted by NRES cites a $4.72 billion dollar industry employing over 15,000 people in Illinois, so it's important to the state."
The program will be directed by landscape architect Greg Pierceall, who has 30 years of experience with environmental education and landscape design. "I got an undergraduate degree in horticulture from SIU and a master's in landscape architecture from U of I, but I'm also a product of the junior college program, having started my education at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights -- so I've come full circle," said Pierceall. "He said that non-degree seeking students can also take courses in the program, purely for enrichment; if they are admitted to the degree program later, they can petition to count those courses.
January 19, 2007
Monday, January 22 is the deadline for submitting volunteer hours for 2006. Elizabeth Bruhns will be working next week on our annual Chicago Master Gardener report to be submitted to the State Master Gardener program.
To date, 7,101.25 volunteer hours have been submitted for 2006. If you want to submit volunteer hours before the deadline, contact Elizabeth at email@example.com for your personal entry code to the reporting system. Check your email from Elizabeth for an attachment of the manual for the reporting system.
January 18, 2007
Who: Open to the public, sponsored by GreenNet
What: Green & Growing Fair
When: Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 10 a.m. – 4.p.m.
Where: Garfield Park Conservatory – 300 N. Central Park, Chicago, IL. 60624
University of Illinois Extension invites you to kick off the growing season with the 15th Annual Green & Growing Fair! The fair, sponsored by GreenNet, Chicago's Urban Greening Network, will be April 28, 2007 at the Garfield Park Conservatory - 300 North Central Park Ave., Chicago, IL. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and admission is free.
Activities for adults and children will include planting a 'good fortune tree', participating in the Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt and good old-fashioned digging in the dirt.
A silent auction will feature garden tools and outdoor supplies, and vendors will offer unique handmade goods, the latest garden tools and supplies, and of course plants.
A variety of knowledgeable exhibitors, vendors, and urban gardening organizations will be on hand to present new and innovative gardening ideas and share the vast array of gardening resources in Chicago.
And for $5.00, gain a wealth of knowledge by attending lectures entitled Cool Season Crops and In With the New. These 45 minute lectures will teach you how to extend your growing season and discover new garden ideas and new plants available to the public.
On-going, hands on demonstrations include pruning techniques, indoor worm composting, general composting, water gardens, tree identification, container planting, EarthBoxes, solar ovens, and food preservation. And the Green Cafe will be open all day in the Jensen Room for you to take a load off and enjoy great healthy food and live music.
What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring. Garfield Park Conservatory with its Children's Garden, Demonstration Garden, and Conservatory is an amazing facility. This is an event you won't want to miss.
Admission and parking (in the adjacent lot) are free. The Conservatory is only 10 minutes from downtown and can easily be reached via the Green Line.
January 17, 2007
The Request for Applications for 2007 is out!
The Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program is a major funding source for community-based food and agriculture projects in the U.S. Approximately $4.6 million in funds will be available in 2007.
The request for applications (RFA) was released on January 12. Initial letters of intent are due by February 13 (by email). Based on a review of these letters, some applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal, due by April 13.The procedures are detailed in the CFP Request for Applications, which is available at the grants.gov website as follows:
The initial Letters of Intent (LOI) will be submitted by regular email, but those invited to submit a full proposal will need to go through a complicated electronic submission process. Because this process cantake up to two months or more and will soon be required for all federal grants, applicants not already registered are strongly encouraged to start the registration process as soon as possible at http://www.grants.gov.
More information and technical support contacts are available online
The CFP Program supports projects that:
Help meet the food needs of low-income people
Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs
Promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues
Meet specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agriculture needs for infrastructure improvement and development, long-term planning, or the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers
January 16, 2007
The Chicago Public School's Area 15 Science Fair is in desperate need of science fair judges. They anticipate 60 students participating in the fair.Each exhibit needs to be judged 3 times.
The Area 15 Science Fair is scheduled for Tuesday, January 23, 2007. The location is Pershing West Middle School, 3200 S. Calumet Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The schedule of activities is as follows:
Schedule of Activities
8:00 a.m. - Registration, Refreshments, Overview
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Student Judging
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Lunch
1:00 p.m. - Awards Presentation
Please note, due to the demands of their jobs, some judges are not always able to stay for the entire science fair. Those who must leave early usually do so at the conclusion of student judging.
January 16, 2007
Happy New Year! Is it your resolution to learn
something new this year?
How about beekeeping! Limited space is still
Come to this exciting and informative class teaching
the A B C's of beekeeping. This is the perfect class
for the beginning beekeeper; learn how to start your
own beehive. Michael Thompson, renowned local
beekeeper, will teach about the basic equipment and
attire for safely working with bees, honey bee
installation, hive maintenance and honey extraction.
Buzz on Beekeeping
Presenter: Michael Thompson of the Chicago Honey Coop
January 20, 2007 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Garfield Park Conservatory Community Room
Fee: $45 / $39 for GPCA volunteers and members
Lunch included in class fee.
Class limit is 20
Pre-registration is required
773-638-1766 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org
January 15, 2007
The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is need of volunteers for Chocolate Fest 2007. The event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, February 10 & 11, 2007 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you would be willing to volunteer please respond by e-mail by Wednesday, January 17, 2007.
Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance
(773) 638-1766 x 26
January 15, 2007
Jackie Paine needs volunteers for the Garfield Park Conservatory Plant Clinic on the following dates from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
January - 20,27,28
February – 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25
March - 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25,31
Please call or email Jackie with selected dates following the format listed below.
1st choice dates
2nd choice dates
January 12, 2007
Hi Master Gardeners!
It is supposed to get cold this weekend. If you want to come to a warm greenhouse and learn a new art, join us at Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse. Master Gardener, Lindsay Obermeyer will be leading a Cyanotype Photogram class tomorrow, Saturday morning. Her work is at the Master Gardeners Plant Clinic at Garfield Park Conservatory.
You can register on site. Just come a little early. Here is the program information.
Saturday, January 13 from 9 a.m.-Noon
Cost $30 (check or cash)
Cyanotypes (also known as blue prints) are one of the oldest and most beautiful photographic techniques. Discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842, it was the scientist Anna Atkins' use of the medium for botanical purposes that established its popularity. Using sunlight and pretreated fabric, students will create their own fabulous photograms of leaves, flowers, and other natural materials collected from the greenhouse. All materials are provided.
Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse
Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse is located at 3501 N. Kilbourn. This is just south of Addison and between Cicero (to the west) and Milwaukee (to the east).
January 12, 2007
January 7, 2007
Brian Williquette, a friend and former colleague passed away suddenly last Friday. Brian died of a heart attack leaving his wife and three children. Brian was only 50 years old.
I knew Brian for 24 years. I actually interviewed for his Urban Gardening Educator position with Extension in 1984 after he had been promoted to the position of Urban Gardening Program Coordinator. After leaving Extension, Brian worked for the Chicago Park District, Bartlett Trees and Brickman's Landscaping. He was highly respected in Chicago's horticulture community.
I will remember Brian for his work ethic and his tremendous knowledge of horticulture. We used to kiddingly call him "The Brain" Williquette. The past few years he has taught a number of our Chicago Master Gardener classes. He will be missed.
January 6, 2007
Enjoy a cultural and ecological experience through a truly great educational tour of Kenya from June 6-23, 2007. The tour is open to University of Illinois Extension adult volunteers (21 yearsand older). In addition, it is open to Extension professionals serving the Northeast Region. You will visit horticultural and agricultural farms, National Parks, game reserves and stay with a Kenyan family for two nights for the ultimate cultural experience. Cost of $4,700 per person includes international and commuter airfare, trip insurance, transportation while in Kenya, food and accommodations. This fee excludes tips, health insurance, beverages, personal items and travel to and from Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
For an application, brochure and more information, contact the University of Illinois Extension-Will County.