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Ryan Pankau
Extension Educator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
801 North Country Fair Drive
Suite D
Champaign, IL 61821
Phone: 217-333-7672
FAX: 217-333-7683

Tabitha Lea Elder
Program Coordinator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
801 North Country Fair Drive
Suite D
Champaign, IL 61821
Phone: 217-333-7672
FAX: 217-333-7683

Champaign County Master Gardeners

Champaign County Master Gardeners

Community Projects

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

Champaign County Nursing Home Garden

The overarching Goal of the Garden is two-fold: education and enrichment. Education for the volunteer gardeners who work this garden in the three seasons we have to work and education for visitors to the garden who can see a variety of plants growing in harmony with each other.  Enrichment to add to the lives of the nursing home residents and their visitors as they tour and view the garden which serves to provide beauty for the residents and perhaps evoke memories of gardens they once knew.

Chairs: Rosalie Fisher, Barbara Stanger, Diane Yezel, Bonnie Speccio. 

Crisis Nursery Garden

Crisis Nursery creates an "Island of Safety" dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis. The garden provides a safe haven for children at Crisis Nursery and introduces them and their parents to gardening.

Chairs: Mary Nielsen, Tom Seals, Kathy Young.

Juvenile Detention Center Garden

The Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center Master Gardener Community Garden is a year round educational program targeted to at risk youth ages 12-17 that are remanded at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC).  The JDC garden has two educational goals:  

  • To provide didactic and interactive lessons on gardening, healthy eating, horticulture, related career ideas, nature, and environmental stewardship.
  • To provide hands-on gardening experience for the youth.  

Click here to view the JDC Video.

Click here to learn more about the JDC garden through the operational guidelines.

Chairs: Teri Stoerger and Japhia Jayasingh-Ramkum. 

Prosperity Gardens

Through neighborhood farming, Prosperity Gardens is dedicated to cultivating a healthy community through education, collaboration and employment opportunities. Our gardens are located along North First Street in Champaign, Illinois.

Learn more about Prosperity Garden by visiting their website:

Program Coordinator: Nicole Bridges,

Idea Garden

Located on the University of Illinois Arboretum in Urbana, the Idea Garden is considered a local jewel among the community. Visit our corresponding page for more information. 

Click here to visit our Idea Garden website.

Senior Grow Box Gardens

The Senior Grow Box Gardens works to provide seniors with the opportunity to produce their own vegetables despite limited mobility, space, and tools. The Senior Grow Box Gardens works with seniors at local assisted living facilities such as Youman Place in Rantoul.

Chair: Elizabeth Scholobo.        

Horticulture Hotline

The Horticulture Hotline serves to answer home gardeners questions. The Horticulture Hotline is open April to October and has answered over 600 calls in a season. Home gardeners call with questions regarding vegetables, pruning, woody ornamentals, insect identification, plant diseases, lawn maintenance, and more. The Horticulture Hotline is one of the most direct and helpful outlets we have to increase horticulture information within the community. To contact the Horticulture Hotline, call us at 217-333-7672.

Sign up to volunteer for a shift by clicking here

Program Coordinator: Tabitha Elder,

Garden Walk

Each year the Champaign County Master Gardeners host a Garden Walk within the Champaign-Urbana community. Master Gardeners select 6 homeowners to be featured on the Garden Walk. The Master Gardener Garden Walk highlights the impact a large group of volunteers can have upon a community and showcases the talents of Master Gardeners and home gardeners.