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Helping Others Learn To Grow

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles Events

Only two more months and we will be saying hello to 2017 and that means it's time to start thinking about Master Gardener training! University of Illinois Extension in Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike & Schuyler Counties will be hosting Master Gardener training beginning January 24, 2017 and continuing each Tuesday through April 4, 2017 and runs 9 am – 4 pm.

You might be wondering what exactly is a Master Gardener and what the program all about.

The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program coordinated through University of Illinois Extension where Master Gardeners can share their love and knowledge of gardening and horticulture in their local communities. Examples of volunteer activities might include working with youth and helping them learn about how plants grow, hosting an informational booth at local events or farmer's markets, presenting on various gardening topics to local groups, helping people learn how to grow vegetables in Community Gardens, the possibilities are endless.

The mission of the Master Gardener program is "Helping Others Learn to Grow." Volunteer opportunities must be educational in nature and working with your local coordinator you can become involved in existing volunteer opportunities or help to develop new and exciting ones that allow you to share your knowledge and passion.

The training program is designed to give you knowledge and understanding as well as where to go for information if you're asked questions or need to find out more for a project you might be working on. Topics covered during training include trees & shrubs, annuals & perennials, vegetables, soils, bugs, plants disease, landscape design and more. Once you have completed the training program you are a Master Gardener intern and are asked to give back 60 hours of volunteer time over a 2 years period. The cost of the training is $175 and covers the training and a copy of the Master Gardener manual that has over 700 pages of information and was written by University of Illinois Extension Educators and Specialists. Attendance at all training sessions is mandatory to complete the training.

The Master Gardener program is also a great way to meet like-minded people that have a passion for gardening. If you are looking for a great way to be active in your community and love gardening, consider becoming a Master Gardener.

If you live in Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike or Schuyler counties you can visit our website at to download an application packet or visit your local Extension Office. For more information or questions contact Kari Houle at or 217-223-8380. If you live in a surrounding county and are interested in traveling to our counties for the training, contact your local Extension office in your county and tell them you are interested in applying to the program and wish to take the training in Unit 14. Below is the training schedule with days, topics, and locations.





January 24

Botany (AM)

Orientation (PM)

Martha Smith via Webinar/Kari Houle

Adams County Office

January 31

Annuals & Perennials

Martha Smith

Hancock County Office

February 7


Duane Friend

Pike County Office

February 14


Chris Enroth

Hancock County Office

February 21


Kelly Allsup

Schuyler County Office

February 28

Woody Ornamentals

Kari Houle

Adams County Office

March 7

Landscape Design/Ornamental Grasses

Chris Enroth/

Kari Houle

Hancock County Office

March 14

Snow Day OR Wildlife/Organics

Shiley & Mason -Webinar

Schuyler County Office

March 21

Disease & Diagnostics

Diane Plewa

Pike County Office

March 28


Elizabeth Wahle – via Webinar

Schuyler County Office

April 4


Kari Houle

Brown County YMCA

April 11

IPM/MG Volunteering/Graduation

Kari Houle

Adams County Office

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