Extension Specialist and Illinois Master Gardener Coordinator
December 4, 2013
The Illinois Big Tree Register (IBTR) was established in 1962 as a citizen outreach program in order to discover, record, recognize and appreciate the largest native tree species here in the Prairie State. For over 50 years years, the IBTR has spawned a generation of big tree hunters and big tree aficionados who relish the opportunity and bask in the glory of finding and nominating the next biggest champion tree. The University of Illinois would like to encourage every citizen of this great state to search our forests, parks and front yards for the future champion trees. We hope that in searching for these trees, citizens will become more aware of the vital importance of Illinois' rural and community forest resource.
American Forests established the first National Register of Big Trees back in 1941. The National Register of Big Trees formally recognizes the largest tree species indigenous to the United States. There are currently 770+ trees recognized as national champions. Illinois is currently home to four national trees : Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra), Kansas hawthorn (Crataegus coccinioides), blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica), and Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii).
Beginning in 2008, the IBTR embarked upon an ambitious campaign to recertify, remeasure, photograph and locate (using GPS coordinates) all of our current champion trees that have been forgotten over the last 10+ years. This campaign was initiated to breath new life in the IBTR and to honorably retire long-standing champions and co-champions whose status and precise locations were unknown. The 2013 Illinois Big Tree Register is the product of this intense recertification and remeasurement campaign.
For more information about Illinois Big Trees or for information on nominating a tree for IBTR status visit:
National register of Big Trees at http://www.americanforest.org/our-programs/bigtree
November 4, 2013
We have a very exciting and knowledgeable list of speakers for this year's event, which will be held Saturday, January 18, at the Urbana, Illinois, Holiday Inn, located conveniently at exit 183 off I-74.
Rosemary Gladstar, originally from California, but now established in Vermont, is an international herbal expert, who hosts programs and symposia in her home state, for which there is usually a waiting list. Her knowledge of herbalism is fantastic, and she is a wonderful warm, open person, too.
Holly Shimizu is the original curator of the Herb Society of America Herb Garden at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. More recently she has been the director of the National Botanic Garden, on the Mall in D.C. Her expertise is centered more on herb gardening and culture, so both women will balance each other's strengths.
Chef Marcus, who for the past few years has prepared the herbal lunch buffet for our Organic Gardening and Herb Days, will this year also present an herbal cooking demonstration, showing how to prepare items available at lunch that same day. He is an experienced chef, with a great background of innovation and use of herbs and unusual ingredients.
As usual, there will be an active retail area where plants, herbal products, gardening supplies, and more will be available for purchase.
Contact Linda Harvey at (217) 244-1693 or email@example.com for more information, if you are not already on the Herb Day mailing list. Registration materials should be ready and mailed out by November 15. See you there.
September 25, 2013
August 19, 2013
AmpleHarvest.org is a nation-wide nonprofit campaign–backed by the USDA, the White House, and Google–that is connecting backyard and community gardeners who have a bountiful harvest with local food pantries that are ready and able to accept donations of fresh food. In June of this year, Ample Harvest announced that its 6000 food pantry has joined the organization.
These food pantries help the nearly 1 in 6 Americans who are food insecure- lacking access to an adequate supply of food or at a real risk of it.
AmpleHarvest.org provides the only free, searchable, online database of food pantries across the country so that gardeners can find a convenient location to donate. So, next time a gardener has a bigger harvest than they can handle, instead of throwing the fruits of your labor in the compost pile, you can feed hungry families in their community. Check out our Master Gardener page at www.AmpleHarvest.org/MG
Here's how we hope YOU can help:
1) Please email this message ( www.AmpleHarvest.org/extension2mg ) out to your county coordinators and ask them to also share it with the local gardeners they are working with;
2) If you have a Master Gardener or Extension Blog, please consider publishing this same message as a short blog post to citizens in your county.
Master Gardeners who are working with Plant A Row, should also help promote AmpleHarvest.org – the two programs complement each other.
July 31, 2013