Contact Us

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 Marshall-Putnam

Master Gardeners Marshall-Putnam

Who We Are

If you enjoy gardening and want to share your gardening knowledge, the Master Gardener program may be for you. All you need is an interest in gardening and a willingness to share your knowledge with others. The Marshall-Putnam Master Gardeners are involved in many community garden projects. Some include Shaw Creek Restoration, Toluca Coal Mine Restoration, McNabb downtown, Fairground Garden, Gardening "Hotline", Standard Fire Station, and the Healthy Gardening Project.

Brief History

The Master Gardener program is an all-volunteer organization, sanctioned by the land-grant institution in each state, which functions as an extension of the college or university. In Illinois, the program is sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension.

Programs or Questions

Local Master Gardeners are available to help with community needs that range from special gardening presentations, assistance with community gardens and answering gardening questions. Contact the Marshall-Putnam Extension office for any of these needs.

How To Become A Master Gardener

Master Gardener training is offered one day a week generally from mid to late January to mid-April. Classes usually begin at 8:30am and conclude at 3:30pm. Attendance at all 11 Master Gardener training classes is required to complete the training. Weekly take-home tests are given along with an open-book, take-home comprehensive final examination.


Master Gardeners participate in more than 60 hours of classroom instruction on basic botany, soils, woodies, vegetables, herbaceous plants, fruits, insects, turf, plant pathology and pesticide safety. All classes are taught by University of Illinois Extension educators and campus specialists.


Following the training sessions, Master Gardener interns are required to complete a 60 hour internship through approved volunteer services which include preparing and staffing exhibits or displays, giving demonstrations or talks to local groups, answering home gardening questions in the Extension Office, serving on a Master Gardener committee, or volunteering in community horticulture projects.

Certified (Active) Master Gardener

To maintain certified University of Illinois Master Gardener status requires a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer service and 10 hours of education annually and is valid for one year. Volunteer agreements must be signed every year. All hours are reported on the volunteer reporting website.


Applications may be made at any time. If a training session is already underway when an application is received, it will be kept on file for the following year's training. Our office offers the trainings every other year - in even number years. You may obtain a copy of the Application Form by calling our office or on the Master Gardener Internet Website.


See the below links for our newsletters!

  • 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.

  • January 2018 Newsletter PDF

  • Spring 2019 Four Seasons Webinar Series PDF

  • Summer 2019 Four Seasons Webinar Series PDF