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Extension Professional Staff

Ron Wolford
Extension Educator, Horticulture

Cook County Unit
10244 South Vincennes Avenue
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183
rwolford@illinois.edu

Expert in: urban horticulture, vegetable and community gardening, composting, school gardens

For 29 years, Ron Wolford has been helping inner city Chicagoans bring beauty and vitality back to their neighborhoods through the Chicago Urban Horticulture program. The Chicago Urban Horticulture program helps communities develop open spaces into productive community gardens, school gardens and green environments spurring community pride and encouraging redevelopment.

Wolford coordinates the Chicago Master Gardener, Master Naturalist and Master Composter programs. He also writes articles for the University of Illinois Extension Gardener's Corner.

Wolford coordinates and supervises staff and volunteers at Extension's 1,200 square foot organic vegetable garden at the Museum of Science and Industry Smart Home. He also coordinates Extension educational outreach efforts at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, Macy's on State Flower Show, the Green Festival, Garfield Park Conservatory, Cook County Juvenile Detention Center Rooftop Garden and Oak Forest Hospital Garden.

Wolford's office is in the University of Illinois Extension Urban Leadership Center. He works with other Extension staff at the Urban Leadership Center providing educational programming for seniors.

Wolford provides social media expertise for Cook County Extension using blogs, Twitter, Facebook, scoop.it, pinterest, flickr , instagram and tumblr.

He earned both his master's and bachelor's degrees in agricultural education/horticulture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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Ron Wolford

Author of

Chicago Master Gardener
A blog for Chicago Master Gardeners providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources.

Chicago Urban Gardening
The day to day experiences of a University of Illinois Extension Urban Horticulture Educator in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Master Composter
A blog for Chicago Master Composters providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources

Food Safety & Preservation
Latest food safety and preservation information from Cook County Extension

Chicago Green
Green news, events, education and resources

Chicago Emerald Ash Borer Central
Latest Emerald Ash Borer Information

Nature Inquiry Adventures
Youth exploring nature through a partnership between the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and U of IL Extension

Suddenly I Seed!
An Inside Look Into the Cook County Master Gardener Program by University of Illinois Extension Summer Interns