Chicago Master Gardener A blog for Chicago Master Gardeners providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources. Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 Update 2011 Chicago Master Gardener Schedule Thu, 03 Feb 2011 23:38:00 +0000
Please note the updated 2011 schedule below:

2011 Chicago MG Training Schedule – Garfield Park Conservatory




Jan. 4, 2011


Sue Gasper

Jan. 11, 2011


Greg Stack

Jan. 18, 2011


Ellen Philips

Jan. 25, 2011

Woody Plants

Richard Hentschel

Feb. 1, 2011

snow day

Feb. 8, 2011


Maurice Ogutu

Feb. 15, 2011

Herbaceous Plants

Greg Stack

Feb. 22, 2011


Nancy Pollard

Mar. 1, 2011


Richard Hentschel

Mar. 8, 2011


Kirsten Akre/MCs

Mar. 15, 2011

IPM/Volunteering and Extension

Russ Higgins/Larry Wilson

Mar. 22, 2011

Plant Pathology

Nancy Pollard

Mar. 29, 2011


Ron Wolford

Apr. 5, 2011


Sue Gasper

October Reminds Us of a Fine Women Thu, 28 Oct 2010 12:02:00 +0000 October 2010 marks the two year passing of our dear friend, MG Organizer, Elizabeth Bruhns. Elizabeth may be gone but we never forget what she has done for us. MG, Janna Riley wished to share this poem by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner. We whope these words bring you peace.

Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges,the bitter hatreds held and nutured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt,the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,beyond accents,gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbors.
Let the earth,nourished by the rain bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven.

Written by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

Chicago Master Gardener Announcements Mon, 11 Oct 2010 09:00:00 +0000 Green Town Conference at Colombia College this Week

GreenTown Chicago – October 13-14 at Columbia College's Film Row Cinema at 1104 S. Wabash in downtown Chicago.

With a highly successful event in 2009, GreenTown is teaming up with the City of Chicago Department of Environment and Columbia College Chicago in bringing together inspiring speakers, been-there case studies and actionable ways to make communities greener, healthier and more prosperous.

GreenTown Chicago will feature Philippe Cousteau, Activist and Chief Ocean Correspondent, Animal Planet and Planet Green; Richard M. Daley, Mayor, City of Chicago (invited); and Suzanne Malec-McKenna, Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Environment.

The afternoon program at GreenTown Chicago will feature the following tracks: BioCycle, Transportation, Community Design and Building, Food, Green Neighborhoods, Green Infrastructure and Green Jobs. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in three sessions of their choice throughout the course of the afternoon.

To register, go to:

Volunteers Needed for Insect Petting Zoo at Creatures of the Night

We are looking for two MGs to assist with the Insect Petting Zoo on October 30 - Creatures of the Night @ GPC. It's a special event where nocturnal animals are stationed throughout the Conservatory to educate visitors on the 'tricks' they perform as adaptations to night life. Extension volunteers will educate visitors on Tarantula, Millipedes, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and Bess Beetles, hand out treats and engage the crowd. Shift time 12 - 3p.m. Contact Nancy at if interested.

Chicago Wilderness Congress

WHAT: The 2010 Chicago Wilderness Congress

WHEN: Thursday, November 4, 2010

WHERE: University of Illinois at Chicago | The Forum | 725 W Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL

For more information, or to register:

US Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking your input on the Proposed

Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.

The dream of a national wildlife refuge in the Wisconsin/Illinois bi-state region is moving closer to reality. Staff members from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be hosting four public meetings this October to seek input from local residents and user groups on the potential refuge. They are also taking comments via their web site.

The proposed Hackmatack NWR includes a variety of rare natural communities, including oaks savannas, tallgrass prairies and emergent wetlands which support sensitive populations of uncommon plants and animals, including a number of grassland bird species. The study area also lies in the whooping crane migratory flyway; whoopers have begun once again to stop over at local natural areas every year.

For those of you who are not close enough to attend one of the meetings, please consider supporting the refuge by commenting through the USFWS project web site,

If you are close enough to attend, the meetings offer members of the public the chance to spend one-on-one time with service staff members to ask questions, offer comments and provide ideas about the refuge. Each open house will be held from 4-8 p.m.

Tues., Oct. 12- McHenry County Government Center Administration Building, 667 Ware St, Woodstock, IL

Wed., Oct. 13- Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Rt. 31 & Harts Rd, North of Ringwood, IL

Wed., Oct. 20- Bristol Municipal Building, 19801 83rd Street, Bristol, WI

Thurs., Oct. 21- Lake Geneva City Hall, 626 Geneva Street, Lake Geneva, WI

This is your chance as a Friend of Hackmatack to show the USFWS that there is strong grassroots support for the refuge.

For more information on this project, check out the Friends of Hackmatack website, .

Please pass this message on to your membership and friends!

Biodynamic Beekeeping Workshop offered by Gunther Hauk, Chicago, IL and other bee information

Gunther Hauk is speaking at a workshop organized by the Learning Center's partners in Rogers Park on Fri Oct 15. Film showing planned. See info below:


A workshop being offered by Gunther Hauk on Biodynamic Beekeeping in Chicago:

When: October 15, 2-5 pm
Where: Chicago Waldorf School Physics Lab, 1319 W Loyola Ave
Suggested Donation: $25
RSVP's: In advance to

Gunther Hauk, master beekeeper will speak about methods of wholistic beekeeping that turn the beekeeper's role from that of manager of livestock to one of creator of bee habitat. The primary goal must be to enhance the health of the bees, not to harvest honey.There will be practical work involving the Chicago Waldorf School hives.

From Gunther Hauk's Book Toward Saving the Honeybee:

Gunther Hauk is an educator of longstanding and a biodynamic gardener as well as a beekeeper for over 50 years. He co-founded the Pfeiffer Center in Spring Valley, NY in 1996 where he developed a successful biodynamic part-time training and taught at Sunbridge College. Since then, he has given many organic beekeeping workshops all over the continent. In 2006 he co-founded the not-for-profit organization "Spikenard Farm, Inc." with his wife. They are now located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia . Working to help save the honeybee is dear to his heart.

To see how you can help, visit the website

Tree and Shrub Care

presented by Charlie Miller

from The Care of Trees

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Triangle Center

1763 N North Park Ave

Such topics as proper planting and pruning techniques, soil care, insect and disease management, and choosing the right tree for the right location will be addressed.

Information on the Old Town Triangle Tree Program will be available.

If you have any suggestions for topics you'd like addressed at this program or ideas for future gardening related talks, please email the Triangle at

Sue Gasper

Master Gardener Program Organizer
University of Illinois Extension
3807 W 111th Street
Chicago IL 60655

2nd Job Opening: Tue, 09 Feb 2010 21:15:00 +0000 Hourly Research Specialist (temporary)

The Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago is conducting a multi-year project to examine the impact of policies, programs and other factors in the built environment on youth eating and physical activity behaviors, and on youth obesity. We are seeking to hire academic hourly Research Specialists to collect observational data from locations across the continental U.S. in 2010. This temporary hourly position will last up to 4-5 months and will pay an hourly rate of $17 based on individual hours worked, without benefits. There is no guaranteed minimum number of hours per week. Research Specialists will work 25 to 40 hours per week and will spend a majority of time collecting data in a variety of environments. Individuals will travel by car and/or airplane to various locations throughout the U.S., and stay in hotels for several consecutive days. In each community visited, individuals will be required to travel by car/on foot in order to conduct observational research.

In this position you will:

- Collect data from food stores, restaurants, public parks, street segments, and recreational facilities that will help to identify the opportunities (or lack thereof) for healthy eating and active living in communities around U.S.;
- Work in teams of two and visit approximately 10-15 communities over the course of the project;
- Locate food and physical activity outlets in each community, and complete detailed survey forms about each location;
- Work closely under UIC supervision to collect and organize field data; and
- Participate in regular debriefing calls and web-based and/or in-person meetings with UIC research teams.

- Availability to attend a paid training session in Chicago from April 12 – April 30 and to work through July 2010 for data collection;
- Bachelors degree;
- Possession of a valid driver's license, auto insurance, and a good driving record;
- Experience with traveling;
- Ability to travel around the country frequently (e.g., Monday through Friday on a weekly basis);
- Very strong organizational skills and high attention to detail;
- Strong interpersonal communication skills, and an ability to work with others in close environment;
- Basic computer literacy in Word as well as the Internet;
- Must be self-motivated and be able to work without daily supervision; and
- Must be an energetic and enthusiastic collaborative team player.

Desired qualifications:
- Previous experience with national fieldwork or observational data collection;
- Understanding of survey research and data collection; and
- Basic proficiency in Spanish.

To apply
For full consideration, please send a resume with a cover letter to by February 12, 2010. References will be required as a condition of employment. Applications will be reviewed/accepted until the positions are filled.

Please, no phone calls. Due to the volume of applications, only applicants of interest will be contacted.

UIC is an AA/EOE.]]>
Job Opening: Tue, 09 Feb 2010 21:00:00 +0000


Program Manager for Calumet Stewardship Corps

WRD Environmental, an ecological design/build firm that creates and fosters environmentally responsible landscapes, is seeking a Program Manager to design, plan, coordinate and direct the new Calumet Stewardship Corps (CSC). The program will be a restoration-based initiative of the Greencorps Chicago Program. Greencorps Chicago (GCC) is the City of Chicago Department of Environment's community greening and job training program run in partnership with WRD Environmental. Greencorps Chicago's mission is to promote establishment of natural spaces that are safe, healthy and sustainable through hands-on involvement with trainees and community partners.

This position is a full-time assignment through December 2011 that is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) through the U.S. Forest Service. The program's intent is to build on existing momentum in the Calumet region of Chicago to restore more than 4,000 acres of open space in the Calumet Open Space Reserve.

As part of the CSC program, between 8 and 16 trainees from the Calumet region will be hired and trained in a range of skills including but not limited to ecological restoration, native plantings, invasive species control, basic horticulture, forestry, pesticide application, prescribed burns and more. Additional environmentally focused training may be provided through Greencorps training partners. Work will be conducted primarily in the Calumet region of Chicago on the City's far southeast side at properties owned by the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and others. The Program Manager will serve as a WRD consultant to the Chicago Department of Environment to implement the program.

The responsibilities of the Program Manager include:

- Manage and supervise crews-on site each day and transport to and from work sites;

- Design the overall program and schedule for the two-year period;

- Create weekly schedule;

- Develop or adapt restoration curriculum and activities to prepare trainees with knowledge to complete field projects;

- Train crew in ecological restoration, landscape and related fields and arrange for outside trainers and speakers

- Work with City departments and sister and partner agencies to identify and schedule appropriate field projects for CSC crews;

- Evaluate and document crew performance on a monthly basis;

- Document project progress, manage budget and track data for ARRA reporting;

- Assist with special projects, events and other tasks as needed.

Qualifications for this position include:

- Graduate of an accredited college or university with a Bachelor's degree in Restoration Ecology, Natural Resource Management or related field and five years experience in ecological site restoration, or an equivalent combination of training and experience

- Three years experience managing or leading field crews;

- Experience teaching in a classroom and/or field setting a plus;

- Project management experience, including program design and budget management;

- Construction, carpentry, hardscape, tree care, urban agriculture experience a benefit;

- Possessing a current Illinois pesticide applicator license or ability to secure one within two months;

- Having Forest Service S-130/S-190 burn training required; S-290/S-390 preferred with experience in active crew work on prescribed burns in the Chicagoland region;

- Excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills;

- Ability to work independently while adhering to goals and timelines;

- Ability to work with a diverse population of hard to employ individuals and a wide range of partners;

- Understanding of the Calumet Region of Chicago a plus;

- Good computer skills (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint);

- Ability to lift and move heavy objects (50 – 75 lbs) and work outside in inclement weather and extreme temperatures;

- Must have a valid Illinois driver=s license with clean driving record for the duration of the project

- Willingness to work flexible hours, including occasional weekends, evenings or holidays (schedule to be determined).

Salary range is $40,000 to $53,000 depending on experience.

Resumes accepted until February 17, 2010. Only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview. WRD Environmental is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Please submit resume in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word format to:

Attn: Roxann Salinas

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Reminders Tue, 26 Jan 2010 08:43:00 +0000 1. Great Opportunity! Enroll Now. Registration is Closing Soon.
The University of Illinois' College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are working in partnership to offer Introduction to Illinois Prairies for Teachers this semester. This course can be taken for three hours of graduate-level credit or as a non-credit course for those educators who want the information but not the graduate credit. If you enroll for credit to be applied to a degree or a pay scale increase, the cost is $354 per credit hour ($1,062 total cost). If you enroll for the non-credit option (just for the information), the cost is $300 flat rate.

For more information on how to register for this course please contact: Heather Miller, Program Director College of ACES, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,<

2. Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant – application deadline – January 31
Don't wait! Submit your application now for the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' (IDNR) Division of Education and the Illinois Conservation Foundation. Teachers may apply for up to $500 to take students on a field trip to study some aspect of Illinois' biological or cultural diversity. The field trip destination must be in Illinois and can include state parks, museums, nature centers and forest preserves. Complete instructions and the application form can be found at Applications must be postmarked by January 31, 2010.

3. Register Now for Earth Day in the Parks – application deadline: February 28

Get your students involved with natural resources stewardship through the Earth Day in the Parks program from the IDNR! Participating state parks will offer students the opportunity to get their hands dirty and experience nature as they perform duties such as removing invasive exotic plants, planting native trees and wildflowers and building and installing bird nesting boxes. The list of participating parks and their associated projects is posted at Instructions and the application form are also available at that Web address. Applications must be received by February 28, 2010. For more information, contact the IDNR Division of Education at or 217-524-4126.

4. New Web Site on Sustainability

Governor Pat Quinn's office has launched a new Green Illinois Web site at The page has sections on sustainable school programs and green project funding, including the Zero Waste Grant (

Valerie A. Keener
Administrator, Division of Education
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Cell 217-725-9620
FAX 217-782-9552]]>
2010 Chicago Master Gardener Training Schedule Wed, 06 Jan 2010 12:44:00 +0000 Wednesday - January 13 – BOTANY – Greg Stack, Extension Educator, Horticulture

Wednesday – January 20 –SOILS – Ellen Phillips, Extension Educator, Crop Systems

Wednesday – January 27 – VEGETABLES – Ron Wolford, Extension Educator, Urban Horticulture/Environment

Wednesday – February 3- WOODY PLANTS-Richard Hentschel, Green Industry Programming

Wednesday – February 10 – HERBACEOUS PLANTS – Greg Stack, Extension Educator, Horticulture

Wednesday – February 17 – FRUITS –Richard Hentschel, Green Industry Programming

Wednesday – February 24 – PLANT PATHOLOGY – Nancy Pollard, Extension Educator, Horticulture

Wednesday- March 3 – INSECTS – Susan Grupp, Extension Educator, Environmental Science

Wednesday – March 10 – TURF – Matt Kostelnick, Extension Educator, Horticulture

Wednesday- a.m. – March 17 – IPM – Russel Higgins, Extension Educator, Integrated Pest Management

Wednesday-p.m. How to be a Volunteer – Larry Wilson, Extension Educator, Community & Economic Development

Wednesday – March – 24 -PLANT CLINIC, DATABASE, ORGANIC BASICS – Kirsten Akre, Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse, Sue Gasper, Chicago Master Gardener Organizer

Wednesday – March 31 – SNOW DAY