University of Illinois Extension
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The Compost Demonstration Committee

The compost bin project is a collaborative effort of the University of Illinois Extension Sangamon and Menard counties Master Gardeners; City of Springfield Waste and Recycling Division; Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO); and Illinois Stewardship Alliance.  Each of the agency’s has contributed funding to the project. This committee formed in 2007.  

This committee meets several times of year. 

Committee members are responsible for:

§  participate in meetings

§  plan, build and maintain the bins

§  educate fellow Master Gardeners about how to properly put plant waste in the bins and how to care for the bins

§  provide educational programs for the public

§  create and maintain a composting brochure

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The Dana Thomas House Committee

Mission Statement:

Update and maintain the Dana Thomas courtyard garden plants, shrubs, young trees & urns, based on research, Wright’s vision on home landscape design as well as the preferences of wealthy home-owner Susan Dana.  Educate Master Gardeners, home docents & general public with educational offerings to be determined.

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The Elijah Iles House Cultural Garden Committee


To educate the public on the flowers and herbs grown and used by our urban/countryside pioneers during the mid 1800s. 


Research the flowers and herbs appropriate to the mid 1800s home garden. 

Design, establish, identify, and maintain the plantings of a flower/herb pioneer home garden. 

Meet and greet visitors to the Elijah Iles house and answer questions about the garden. 

Maintain a garden identification of each plant for the benefit of the visitors and a garden journal for the benefit of each committee member.


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Evening in the Garden

Evening in the Garden featured walking tours of the Demonstration Gardens in front of the Sangamon-Menard Extension office.  This included a 5,000 square foot garden featuring a wide variety of annuals, herbs, perennials and prairie plants, and a compost demonstration area.  Varieties of flowers planted throughout the State Fairgrounds were also featured and labeled in the Identification Garden.  The Herb Garden has more than 70 kitchen herbs. The Lorrraine DeSouza Perennial Garden contains plants of interest for every season.  Other features of the garden include compost bins. Evening in the Garden was combined with the Garden Shed Sale in the past. 

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The Executive Mansion Committee

This is a partnership between Illinois Executive Mansion, Graham Elementary 21st Century Program and University of Illinois Extension Sangamon and Menard counties Master Gardeners. This partnership began in March 2010.

The purpose of this committee is to educate youth with hands on training, how to prepare, plant, maintain, harvest, and use the produce from a garden.

Main Duties:

Plan an educational activity or give educational instructions as to the type of gardening that will be done that week. Educate the children on the types of gardening tools to be used for a specific task and how to create a safe environment. With instruction allow the children to prepare the site, plant, maintain and harvest the garden. Answer questions and provide assistance when needed. Once the harvest begins instruct the children how to prepare and use the produce giving them the opportunity to taste what was harvested.


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Garden Shed Sale

The Garden Shed Sale is a bi-annual fundraiser for the Master Gardeners. A wide variety of gently used outdoor garden tools and furniture, garden related household items, books, clothing, jewelry and one-of-a-kind artwork is offered for sale as part of this unique fundraiser.  A  silent auction is also held at the same time for the higher quality, unique items. 

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Garden Therapy Committee

VISION: Gardening is the story of the life circle. Our vision sees the Garden Therapy Program continuing to include and encourage aging adults to interact and to continue the life-long learning experiences through the sharing of gardening knowledge. 

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the Garden Therapy Program is to provide an educational experience for the residents, staff, family, and Master Gardener members centering on the growing and understanding of a variety of plants and the elements necessary for plant growth. 

The job of the Master Gardener volunteers is to present educational gardening experiences designed to meet the various learning modes, intellectual and educational levels of the participants. In other words, we plan our presentations to be simple enough for all to understand, but with current research information that will also interest everyone, including the Master Gardeners in attendance at the sessions. 

Program Details:

Established in 1999, the Garden Therapy Program has evolved into an active educational program. Master Gardener volunteers take pride in developing a variety of different and creative presentations and hands on activities to keep the program fresh and interesting.

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Garden Walk 2007

Goal of the Walk: Educate people on the tour about shrubs, perennials, prairie plants, roses, small fruits and tree fruits, annual cutting flowers, and trees from saplings to 100+ years old.

Programs to be held the day of the walk include:

·         Flower Arranging & Leaf Casting

·         Prairie Plants

·         Japanese Beetle Control

·         Planting

·         Roses

·         Turf

·         Annual Plant Maintenance

·         Sea Wall


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The Herb Garden Committee

Committee Goal--As members of the Herb Committee, our goal is to maintain a garden of primarily culinary herbs and in doing so, educate the public on what herbs grow in our climate and how to maintain herb plants.

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The Identification Garden Committee

Goal:  Design, identify, plant and maintain gardens using annual plants.  Most of the plants are the same as annuals located elsewhere on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.  Educate public on various aspects of annual plant growth, maintenance and preservation through educational events such as Evening in the Garden, Illinois State Fair and Identification garden educational events.  Inspire novice, avid and seasoned gardeners through all activities.  Support and encourage each other and fellow master gardeners. 

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The Lincoln Home Garden Committee

This project started in January 2009.  Partners with this project include: U of I Extension Sangamon and Menard county Master Gardeners, U of I Extension Christian County Master Gardeners and Springfield Civic Garden Club Members.

 Share your love of outdoor vegetable, flower and herb gardening and work in a historic site.   

Main Duties of Volunteers Includes:

Meet and greet visitors and answer questions about the park and the gardens explaining what plants are in the garden, how the garden produce was used, and how it was stored by the people who lived in the 1850-60 period in Springfield, IL. 

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The Ostermeier Native Wildflower Garden Committee

To educate the public on ways to incorporate the beauty and sustainability of Illinois native wildflowers in the garden; the value of landscaping with native plants to butterflies, birds, and other beneficial wildlife; and the social and cultural history of the specimen wildflower species.

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The Perennial Garden Committee

The goal of the members of the Perennial Committee is to maintain a garden that displays primarily perennial plants.  In doing so, we educate the public about perennials that are grown in our climate and how to best maintain such plants.  We expand our personal knowledge of perennials as we share our research at meetings and programs presented by the Committee.

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Plant-a-Row for the Hungry Harvests page 1

Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR) is a national hunger relief effort promoted by the Garden Writers Association of America. Locally PAR is sponsored by Master Gardeners of the University of Illinois Extension Sangamon-Menard Unit.

Plant a Row for the Hungry invites gardeners to plant an extra row in their gardens to produce food to donate to the Central Illinois Foodbank.


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Plant-a-Row for the Hungry Harvests page 2

Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR) is a national hunger relief effort promoted by the Garden Writers Association of America. Locally PAR is sponsored by Master Gardeners of the University of Illinois Extension Sangamon-Menard Unit.

Plant a Row for the Hungry invites gardeners to plant an extra row in their gardens to produce food to donate to the Central Illinois Foodbank.

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Plastic Pot Recycling

 University of Illinois Extension Logan-Menard-Sangamon Unit is partnering with Lincoln Memorial Garden to provide gardeners a way to recycle plastic pots. 

Three categories of plastics #2, #5 and #6 are collected.  These pots come in variety of shapes, styles, and sizes, the number is usually labeled on the bottom.  To prepare pots for recycling remove loose dirt and debris, metal hangers, metal rings, staples, and tags from containers. Non-profit organizations that need plastic pots for projects should contact the Extension office. If you have questions call (217) 782-4617.



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Rain Barrel Workshop

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, lawn and garden watering makes up nearly 40 percent of total household water use during the summer.

One way to reduce outdoor water usage and conserve water is to collect rainwater. A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater. A typical 1/2 inch rainfall will fill a 55 gallon barrel. It is estimated that a 55 gallon rain barrel can save about 1,300 gallons of water during the summer.

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The Sangamon Detention Center

The Sangamon County Juvenile Detention Center began a garden project with assistance from the Master Gardeners in 2001.  The garden included a sizeable vegetable, fruit and flower area. It was designed with raised beds and included a footbridge that was added later to the site -- which was the idea of students and involved community volunteers  as well. The garden gave students an opportunity to learn the discipline and rewards in growing and maintaining a garden. The Master Gardeners continued their goals and add a few "hands on" activities -- such as designing and adding potted flower containers in the years before the project was discontinued.

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