Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties

Stephenson County
Highland Community College, Bldg R
2998 W Pearl City Rd
Freeport, IL 61032
Phone: 815-235-4125
FAX: 815-232-9006
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm

Jo Daviess County
204 Vine, PO Box 600
Elizabeth, IL 61028
Phone: 815-858-2273
FAX: 815-858-2274

SNAP Ed Office
650 North Main St
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 779-423-0982

Winnebago County
1040 North Second Street
Rockford, IL 61107
Phone: 815-986-4357
FAX: 815-986-4329

News Release

Master Gardener Helpline Helps Home Gardeners

The University of Illinois Extension-Stephenson County Master Gardeners offer a helpline every growing season.  The helpline is designed to help the home gardener with their horticulture questions.  Master Gardeners volunteer their time on the helpline which is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., May through September.  Each year the Master Gardeners field a variety of questions from across the county.  During the 2017 growing season, the Master Gardeners answered 175 horticulture related questions providing research-based answers.

Master Gardeners are volunteers that go through horticulture training led by University of Illinois Extension Educators.  During the training they learn about all aspect of horticulture but they also receive training about the resources that the University of Illinois Extension has available for them to use.  A Master Gardener has the ability to find research based information from the University to provide to homeowners when they call with a question.

“Each year the calls to the helpline are documented so that we know the types of questions are coming in and where in the county the questions are coming from” stated U of I Extension Program Coordinator Nikki Keltner “it helps us to identify trends and key issues for that particular growing season.”  From the 175 questions fielded in 2017 the majority of the questions were about trees and shrubs.  Vegetable related phone calls were a close second.   Master Gardeners also answer questions about bugs and other pests and are happy to identify that pest if the homeowner brings a sample to the office.

At the University of Illinois Extension-Stephenson County we are proud to work with 61 Master Gardener Volunteers.  In 2017 the Master Gardeners contributed nearly 2,500 volunteer hours to the community.  In addition to the helpline they also offer educational programs to the community, beautiful display gardens at many public locations, and much more.

To contact the Master Gardener Helpline please call the University of Illinois Extension-Stephenson County at (815) 235-4125.

Source: Margaret Larson, County Director,

Local Contact: Nikki Keltner, Program Coordinator (Stephenson County),