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Extension Educator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
402 Ava Rd.
Murphysboro, IL 62966
Unit 26 Master Gardeners
Master Gardeners are volunteers who provide service to the community by addressing common horticulture problems and questions. They share their special interests in horticulture and the skills they acquire in Master Gardener training with the community in various ways. They answer plant and gardening questions from homeowners. They help design and operate exhibits, displays and demonstrations. Also, they make presentations to both large and small groups.
Although no background in horticulture is required for acceptance into the program, participants are required to complete the Master Gardener training. They receive a minimum of 60 hours of in-depth classroom training on such topics as soils, botany, entomology, pathology, houseplants, landscaping, and fruit and vegetable production. They also gain practical experience by attending field trips and workshops. In addition, Master Gardeners gain public relations, teaching and communication experience.
In return for this intensive training, Master Gardeners donate at least 60 hours of volunteer horticulture-related service to Unit 26 which covers Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Randolph, and Williamson counties.