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University of Illinois Extension serving Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Moultrie and Shelby Counties

Coles County
707 Windsor Road, Suite A
Charleston, IL 61920
Phone: 217-345-7034
FAX: 217-348-7940
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1 pm)

Cumberland County
102 S. Meridian
P.O. Box 218
Toledo, IL 62468
Phone: 217-849-3931
FAX: 217-849-2411
Hours: Hours: Monday - Thursday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1 pm). Closed Friday

Douglas County
122 S Walnut St
Arthur, IL 61911
Phone: 217-543-3755
FAX: 217-543-3757
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1 pm)

Shelby County
1125 W N 2nd St
Shelbyville, IL 62565
Phone: 217-774-9546
FAX: 217-774-9549
Hours: Hours: Monday - Thursday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1 pm); Friday - 8 to 10:40 a.m.

MG - Master Gardeners

MG - Master Gardeners

2018 Master Gardener Training Info & Application

Thank you for expressing interest in the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteer program! This unique program combines horticulture education with community service. Participants receive 60 hours of instruction from University of Illinois horticulture specialists and educators, with the agreement to return 60 hours of volunteer service through their local Master Gardener program over the following two years.

Volunteer service is divided between office work and community projects. Office work consists primarily of researching answers to horticulture questions submitted by area residents, organizing resources, and preparing diagnostic reports for mailing or computer submission. Community project work varies depending upon the skills and interests of the Master Gardener volunteer, but may include activities such as 4-H youth project judging, civic group presentations, writing newspaper articles, or hands-on work at the local Master Gardener project sites such as the Idea Garden.

Applications will be accepted through Friday December 15. Qualified applicants will be interviewed in person to ensure that their personal goals are a good fit for the program's mission and goals. All training sessions will be held at the Coles County Extension office located at 707 Windsor Road, Charleston, IL 61920. As indicated on the 2018 Training Schedule below, sessions are scheduled on Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. beginning January 23 and ending April 10, 2018.  The cost of the volunteer training option is $150, most of which goes toward the purchase of the Master Gardener reference manual.

Please return your application to Coles County Extension office, 707 Windsor Road, Suite A, Charleston, IL 61920 by Friday, December 15, 2017. Please feel free to call 217/345-7034 with any questions you might have.

Master Gardener Training schedule 2018 

All Sessions are on Tuesdays at the Coles County Extension office in Charleston.

Classes start at 9:00 a.m. with instruction from 9:15 until 4:00 p.m.

There will be short morning and afternoon breaks, as well as a one-hour lunch break (12-1 p.m.). Participants may bring a lunch or go off-site for the noon meal. 

January 23 -    9:00 AM-Noon Orientation (Local staff)

                        1-4:00 PM Organic Gardening and Composting (Sandy Mason)

January 30 –   Insects (Ken Johnson + Kelly Allsup)        

February 6 -    Annuals and Perennials (Martha Smith, Candice Hart)            

February 13 - Soils (Duane Friend)

February 20 - 9:00 AM-Noon Wildlife (Dave Shiley) 
                          1-4:00 PM       Botany (Martha Smith)               

February 27 – Lawns (Chris Enroth) 

March 6 -        Diseases and Diagnosis (Richard Hentschel, Ken Johnson)

March 13 -      Trees, Shrubs, and Vines (Kari Houle, Kelly Allsup, Chris Enroth)

March 20 -      Vegetables (Elizabeth Wahle) Bruce Black            

March 27 -      Fruits (Elizabeth Wahle) Bruce Black and Andrew Holsinger            

April 3 -           9:00 AM-Noon Integrated Pest Management (Ken Johnson)

                        PM – Open forum and volunteering

April 10 -         Graduation and local tour