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Jackie Hahn
Office Support Associate
University of Illinois Extension
1209 Wenthe Drive
Effingham, IL 62401
Phone: 217-347-7773
FAX: 217-347-7775

Effingham County Master Gardeners

Effingham County Master Gardeners

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What Is the Master Gardener Program?

Sponsored by University of Illinois Extension, the Master Gardener program trains adult volunteers to help disseminate up-to-date, research-based horticulture information to home gardeners. Since 1994, more than 60 Effingham County residents have completed the program, which is sanctioned by land-grant universities in all 50 states.

Why Become a Master Gardener?

From the trees along our city streets to flowers in backyard gardens, horticulture affects everyone. Gardening enriches people's lives and communities. As a Master Gardener, you'll learn about environmentally sound and practical gardening techniques specific to your growing area. You'll also play an important role in sharing that information with others in your community.

What Qualifications Do I Need?

Anyone can become a Master Gardener--it does not require a degree in horticulture! You do, however, need to:

  • Have a sincere desire to learn and share home horticulture information.
  • Have practical experience or knowledge of gardening.
  • Be willing to follow U of I pest control recommendations and home horticulture information.
  • Be able to communicate effectively.
  • Devote time to training sessions and volunteering.

What Does the Training Involve?

Training sessions are typically offered one day a week over a four-month period and are led by University of Illinois Extension educators and other horticultural experts. An online option is also available. A total of 66 hours of instruction is required to complete the program.

What Is the Cost and What Will I Learn?

You'll be asked to pay a small fee to help cover the cost of materials. This includes the Master Gardener manual, that is yours to keep, and consists of two large notebooks filled with helpful resources and reference publications. During the training program, you'll learn about many different facets of indoor and outdoor gardening.

A combination of classroom instruction and demonstrations is used to present information about topics such as:

basic botany









pesticide safety



trees and shrubs


Volunteer Opportunities

Master Gardeners learn to be effective volunteers. There are many ways you can fulfill your commitment of at least 60 intern hours:

  • answer home gardener questions in the Extension office.
  • serve as a team member with U of I Extension staff to plan and present consumer horticulture information.
  • serve as a resource person in community gardens at schools, parks and nursing homes.
  • assist in preparing and staffing exhibits, displays and demonstration sites.
  • give demonstrations and talks to local civic groups.

The Master Gardeners also meet monthly to plan events and trips, tour gardens, learn new techniques and just have fun.

  • 2017 Effingham County Community Garden Registration Packet PDF
    Welcome to the Effingham Community Garden!! The community garden is a joint venture between the Effingham Park District, Effingham U of I Master Gardeners and the City of Effingham. The Passalacqua family has graciously allowed us to open up this land to the community for a garden. In the past, Mr. Passalacqua used this land for a large garden of his own and operated a farmers market for a number of years. The garden plots are located just south of the Bob’s Salvage building and directly behind the building that houses Poss Music, Gotcha by the Hair and Tan Express. There is parking available by the fence or you can drive along the fence to get closer to the plots. Please keep in mind if it has recently rained it may not be advisable to park close to the plots. We are happy that you are interested in renting a plot. This booklet will provide you with all the guidelines, the registration form and fees. We hope you have a fantastic gardening season!

  • Focus on Plant Problems
    This website includes disease and pest problems for evergreen trees and shrubs, deciduous trees and shrubs, and perennial flowers. The site was developed by james Shuster, Extension Specialist, Pesticide Safety Education-Plant Pathology.

  • Home, Yard, and Garden Pest Newsletter
    For the latest information on how to control plant and insect problems.

  • Illinois Master Gardener Website

  • Imagine Newsletter
    State newsletter for Master Gardeners

  • Manureshare
    This website provides information on manure that can be used for composting. Check it out!

  • State Master Gardener Homepage

  • University of Illinois Extension Garden Calendar
    Daily tips each month for the home gardener!