Ron Wolford - U of I Extension

Extension Professional Staff

Ron Wolford
Extension Educator, Horticulture

Ron Wolford

Cook County Unit
8753 South Greenwood Avenue Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60619
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183

Expert in: urban horticulture, vegetable and community gardening, composting, school gardens

For 31 years, Ron Wolford has been helping inner city Chicagoans bring beauty and vitality back to their neighborhoods through the Chicago Urban Horticulture program. The Chicago Urban Horticulture program helps communities develop open spaces into productive community gardens, school gardens and green environments spurring community pride and encouraging redevelopment.

Wolford coordinates the Chicago Master Gardener, Master Naturalist and Master Composter programs. He also writes articles for the University of Illinois Extension Gardener's Corner.

Wolford coordinates and supervises staff and volunteers at Extension's 1,200 square foot organic vegetable garden at the Museum of Science and Industry Smart Home. He also coordinates Extension educational outreach efforts at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, Macy's on State Flower Show, the Green Festival, Garfield Park Conservatory, Cook County Juvenile Detention Center Rooftop Garden and the Growing Solutions Farm.

Wolford's office is in the University of Illinois Extension Urban Leadership Center. He works with other Extension staff at the Urban Leadership Center providing educational programming for seniors.

Wolford provides social media expertise for Cook County Extension using blogs, Twitter, Facebook,, pinterest, flickr , instagram and tumblr.

He earned both his master's and bachelor's degrees in agricultural education/horticulture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Chicago Master Gardener
A blog for Chicago Master Gardeners providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources.

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A blog for Chicago Master Composters providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources

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Youth exploring nature through a partnership between the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and U of IL Extension

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