Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Henderson, Knox, McDonough and Warren Counties

Knox County
180 S Soangetaha Rd, Ste 108
Galesburg, IL 61401-5595
Phone: 309-342-5108
FAX: 309-342-1768
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed noon - 1 pm)

Henderson County
410 E. Main, PO Box 540
Stronghurst, IL 61480
Phone: 309-924-1163
FAX: 309-924-1164
Hours: Monday and Tuesday 8am-2pm and Thursday 8am-4:30pm

McDonough County
3022 W Jackson
Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: 309-837-3939
FAX: 309-833-3019
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed noon - 1 pm)

Warren County
1000 North Main Street
P.O. Box 227
Monmouth, IL 61462
Phone: 309-734-5161
FAX: 309-734-5532
Hours: Monday through Friday 8 am to 4:30pm (Closed noon to 1 pm)

News Release

Accent photo

Become a Master Naturalist

 In my current role with the University of Illinois Extension, I have the pleasure of working with Master Gardener volunteers who share a love of the outdoors and a willingness to give back to our communities.

U of I Extension is building a new group of volunteers that complements our Master Gardener program. This new group of volunteers is called Master Naturalists. Our mission aims toward conservation and education.

Do you or your children remember that person who visited the classroom to teach about a specific nature topic? Perhaps they were referred to as the Bird Lady or Butterfly Lady. Today, these are our Master Naturalists.

It is critical to develop foundations of conservation and a land ethic at a young age and foster these connections for adults and decision makers. Our Master Naturalists partner with local conservation organizations such as The Nature Conservancy or Pheasants Forever to educate youth and adults about habitat and wildlife.

Master Naturalists work side-by-side with scientists and leading researchers. From archeology to zooplankton, we strive to learn about the natural world and help preserve it for future generations.

There is much work that needs to be accomplished in addition to education. Research is a critical component to conservation and is being conducted on a massive scale through Citizen Science projects, most of which are pursued by Master Naturalists.

Land management is another component of being a Master Naturalist. Identifying native plants, fostering their development, invasive species monitoring and removal, learning to recognize the natural systems at play in a landscape, are all critical to preserving a piece of nature for the youth and adults we teach.

The University of Illinois Extension in Henderson, Knox, McDonough, & Warren Counties will be offering Master Naturalist training beginning Thursday, February 22 and concluding April 25. This training has trainees meeting one day per week from 9am to 3pm at various locations within West Central Illinois. We will investigate prairie plants and the insects that reside there, introduce soil conservation, and discuss climate vs. weather and more.

You don't need to have a rich history with nature to become a Master Naturalist. In fact, several volunteers describe themselves as city kids or "creatures of suburbia". They grew up interacting little with the outdoors, but now have a yearning to connect with nature and be stewards of their community.

If you are interested in becoming a Master Naturalist in Henderson, Knox, McDonough, & Warren Counties contact Amanda Christenson at 309-342-5108 or 

Local Contact: Amanda Christenson, Program Coordinator, Hort,