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University of Illinois Extension serving Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam Counties

LaSalle County
815 North Orlando Smith Road
Room C223
Oglesby, IL 61348
Phone: 815- 224-0889
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

Bureau County
850 Thompson St,
Becker Professional Suites,
Princeton, IL 61356
Phone: 815-875-2878
FAX: 815-875-2870
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

LaSalle County
1689 North 31st Road,
Suite 2
Ottawa, IL 61350
Phone: 815-433-0707
FAX: 815-433-5454
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

Marshall-Putnam County
509 Front Street,
Suite 4
Henry, IL 61537
Phone: 309-364-2356
FAX: 309-364-2804
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

Master Gardeners LaSalle County

Master Gardeners LaSalle County

Master Gardeners are volunteers who strive to help others learn to grow. LaSalle County has a strong group of dedicated Master Gardener volunteers helping our communities.

The Master Gardener program is open to those who have a passion for gardening and landscaping, and those who wish to give back to their community through volunteer services. LaSalle County offers Master Gardener training every two years. Our next training will occur starting in January, 2015.

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.

University of Illinois Extension increasingly uses trained Master Gardener volunteers to meet the constant demand for horticultural consumer information by citizens of our state. There are currently more than 3,300 Master Gardener volunteers in Illinois.

The mission of the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program is "Helping Others Learn to Grow". Master Gardeners involve people in improving the quality of life by helping them find sound management practices for home and urban natural resources, by creating aesthetically pleasing environments, by promoting well-being through people-plant interactions and horticultural therapy, and by contributing to a safe, abundant food supply through home fruit and vegetable production.

The objectives of the Master Gardener program are to:

  • Expand the capacity of the University of Illinois Extension Service to distribute horticultural information to individuals and groups in local communities
  • Develop and enhance community programs related to horticulture. These programs are educational in nature and may involve environmental improvements, horticulturaltherapy projects, community and school gardening projects, or other programs determined by local need.
  • Develop the leadership potential of Master Gardener volunteers through a volunteer administrative network designed to assist Extension staff in managing local Master Gardener activities and programs.

To become a Master Gardener, you must fill out and submit an application to your local Extension Unit. After the local coordinator reviews the application, you may be invited for a short interview. Following acceptance into the program, the trainee begins the core training. This includes daytime classes taught once a week for 11 weeks, beginning in mid to late January. Attendance for all 11 classes is mandatory. Classes are taught by University of Illinois specialists and extension educators. Class topics include Botany, Soils, Vegetables, Fruits, Flowers, Trees and Shrubs, Grasses, Landscaping, Insects, and Diseases. A fee, which is determined by the local coordinator, is charged for the training and includes a training manual. Upon successful completion of the classroom training units and passing the final exam, you will become a Master Gardener Intern. The internship consists of fulfilling volunteer hours approximately equal to the number of hours of classroom training received (60 hours). Certified Master Gardeners are those who have completed their classroom training and internship. To be an active Master Gardener you must remain current in annual educational updates (a minimum of 10 hours) and volunteer service hours (a minimum of 30 hours) required by the local program.

  • 2019 Online Master Gardener Training PDF

  • Community Garden Webinar Series
    There is a good amount of planning that needs to go into creating a successful community garden. To help people and organizations build and maintain productive community gardens University of Illinois Extension created the Community Garden Webinar Series. This series takes users through a variety of modules discussing the different steps that can be taken to develop a successful community garden. Community gardens are started for a variety of reasons and provide numerous benefits to a community. They provide food to locations suffering from food insecurity, allow citizens to grow their food, beautify an abandoned lot, and much more. Research has shown that people who participate in community gardens eat more fruits and vegetables. The Community Garden webinar series is broken up into six modules. • The first module goes through the steps needed to create a successful community garden. • The second module discusses how you can go about planning your garden and different techniques that are used to plant gardens. • The third module discusses different types of vegetables that are commonly grown in gardens and the basics on how to grow them. • The fourth module discusses how to successfully start plants indoors from seeds for use later in the garden. • The fifth module discusses basic community garden care, including watering, fertilizing, pest control considerations, and more. • The sixth and final module discusses gardening safety and some of the considerations needed to make sure community gardens are safe and enjoyable for all.

  • Master Gardener CANTS Form PDF
    This form must be completed and sent to the University of Illinois Extension, 1689 N. 31st Rd, Suite 2, Ottawa IL 61350, or emailed to, when applying to become a Master Gardener.

  • Master Gardener Internet Site
    This site contains the general information for the Master Gardener Program. Please call our office if you desire more information.

  • Master Gardener Name Check Verification Form Word
    This form must be completed and sent to the University of Illinois Extension, 1689 N. 31st Rd, Suite 2, Ottawa IL 61350, or emailed to, when applying to become a Master Gardener.

  • Master Gardener Program Application Form PDF
    This form must be completed and sent to the University of Illinois Extension, 1689 N. 31st Rd, Suite 2, Ottawa IL 61350, or emailed to, when applying to become a Master Gardener.

  • Spring 2019 Four Seasons Webinar Series PDF

  • Winter 2019 Four Seasons Webinars PDF