Nancy Kreith - U of I Extension

Extension Professional Staff

Nancy Kreith
Extension Educator, Horticulture

Nancy Kreith

Cook County Unit
4747 Lincoln Mall Drive
Suite 601
Matteson, IL 60443
Phone: 708-679-6889
FAX: 708-679-6855

Nancy Kreith aims to serve youth and adults of Cook County by bringing expertise and encouragement to those interested in using plants to benefit their lives. She extends her horticulture knowledge by educating and providing leadership for volunteers in the Master Gardener (MG) Certification Program and oversees their volunteer projects in the county’s south and southwest suburbs. Together with the help of MG volunteers thousands of county residents benefit from Extension programming.

Nancy received her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and her Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. During her graduate program, Nancy completed her individual research project on elements of sustainable schools gardens and their potential as teaching tools.

Currently, Nancy shares her expertise by training Master Gardeners in the subject areas of soils, woody ornamental plants, insects and landscaping. Her community outreach efforts focus on school and community gardening, engaging youth and adults at special events, writing a landscaping blog and co-leading the Conservation@Home Program with Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Nancy is passionate about exploring the world of plants and their amazing ability to enhance social experience, bring economic value and strengthen the environment.  She enjoys landscape photography and had the opportunity to study and photograph the landscapes of Dominican Republic, Rome, Holland, Paris and London.

Program Offerings

Master Gardeners in the South or Southwest Suburbs of Cook County

The Cook South Master Gardener Program focuses primarily on serving the Cook County suburban area south of Roosevelt Road. Master Gardeners are required to do the volunteering in the unit that they train with. There are affiliated but separate Master Gardener Programs for other parts of Cook County. These are in the North Cook and Chicago units.

The Master Gardener adult volunteer program is nationwide. Master Gardeners are a vital link in getting horticulture information to the public through University of Illinois Extension offices. Education is what we're all about. With no products or services to sell, Master Gardeners can provide unbiased, research-based information from the University of Illinois to the public.

Master Gardener Speaker's Bureau

Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who enjoy helping people put horticultural knowledge to work. Several experienced Master Gardeners present programs about gardening to groups and organizations of 15 or more people. All garden programs are PowerPoint slide presentation format developed by professional University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educators. To schedule a speaker, contact Nancy Kreith at or fill out an online request form.

Youth Horticulture Programs

University of Illinois Extension provides presenters that will engage students in hands-on learning experiences. If you would like to request a program for your South Suburban Cook County organization, please click here to submit a request form. Groups requesting programs should have a minimum audience of 15 people. Please submit your request at least 6 weeks in advance in order to coordinate our staff and volunteers' schedules. Programs topics include: Insect Petting Zoo, Worm Composting, Planting Lettuce in a Bag, Planting Herbs in a Bag, and Monarch Butterflies Lesson and Craft.

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A blog to guide home gardeners with seasonal landscape improvements.