Contact Us

Jennifer Fishburn
Extension Educator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
700 S. Airport Drive
Springfield, IL 62707
Phone: 217-782-4617
FAX: 217-524-6662
fishburn@illinois.edu

Sandy Duncheon
Office Support Assistant
University of Illinois Extension
700 S. Airport Drive
Springfield, IL 62707
Phone: 217-782-4617
FAX: 217-524-6662
duncheon@illinois.edu

Amy Hyde
Program Coordinator, 4-H Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
980 N. Postville Dr.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: 217-732-8289
FAX: 217-735-5837
amyhyde@illinois.edu

Sangamon and Menard County Master Gardeners

Sangamon and Menard County Master Gardeners

Who We Are?

Master Gardeners are adults of all ages who love gardening and who have previous gardening experience.

You can become a Master Gardener if:

  • you have some knowledge or experience in gardening or landscape management (you need not be an expert),
  • you are willing to learn about horticulture and share this knowledge with others,
  • you are accepted into a local training program and can volunteer time conducting horticultural educational programming coordinated through your local Extension unit.

Why Become a Master Gardener?

From the trees along our city streets to flowers in backyard gardens, horticulture affects everyone. Gardening enriches people's lives and communities. As a Master Gardener, you'll learn about environmentally sound and practical gardening techniques specific to your growing area. You'll also play an important role in sharing that information with others in your community.

What Qualifications Do I Need?

Anyone can become a Master Gardener--it does not require a degree in horticulture! You do, however, need to:

  • Have a sincere desire to learn and share home horticulture information.
  • Have practical experience or knowledge of gardening.
  • Be willing to follow U of I pest control recommendations and home horticulture information.
  • Be able to communicate effectively.
  • Devote time to training sessions and volunteering.

What Does the Training Involve?

Classes are held one day a week from 9 am to 4 pm over a 12 week period from January to April. Classes are led by University of Illinois Extension educators and other horticultural experts.  A total of 66 hours of instruction is required to complete the program. For specific information about dates, times and locations, call our office at 217-782-4617.

What Is the Cost and What Will I Learn?

You will be asked to pay a fee to help cover the cost of materials. This includes the Master Gardener manual, that is yours to keep, the manual is filled with helpful resources and reference publications. During the training program, you'll learn about many different facets of indoor and outdoor gardening. Application deadline is usually November 15.

A combination of classroom instruction and demonstrations is used to present information about topics such as:

basic botany

compost

diseases

fertilizers

fruits

flowers

houseplants

insects

lawns

pesticide safety

pruning

soils

trees and shrubs

vegetables

Volunteer Opportunities

Master Gardeners learn to be effective volunteers. There are many ways you can fulfill your commitment of at least 60 intern hours:

  • answer home gardener questions in the Extension office.
  • serve as a team member with U of I Extension staff to plan and present consumer horticulture information.
  • design and maintain Demonstration Gardens.
  • serve as a resource person in community gardens at schools, parks and nursing homes.
  • assist in preparing and staffing exhibits, displays and demonstration sites.
  • give demonstrations and talks to local civic groups.