Plants are all around us.
We are connected to plants through nearly every aspect of our lives.
From the fresh vegetables we eat to the trees that shade our homes and give us cleaner air, the gifts of plants – whether bundled, potted, or growing in the ground – provide us with the qualities of a healthy, happy life. Many of us cherish our connection to plants, and gardening, thanks to a beloved relative, or the special connection they created with a childhood educator. Gardening is good for our health and well-being, but it is also a great way to give back and inspire others in your life or community.
Master Gardeners are plant people.
The Illinois Extension Master Gardener program is a volunteer organization with the University of Illinois. It delivers university research-findings to all Illinois residents in the form of practical education. The mission of the program is ‘Helping others learn to grow.’ This group of passionate, plant-loving individuals has been actively learning, growing, and sharing knowledge in our community for 25 years.
Master Gardeners educate and give back to the community.
Services to the community include speaking at local libraries, community groups, or schools; researching and answering homeowners' gardening questions at the Master Gardener help desk or community event booths; establishing demonstration gardens that serve as educational tools; and educating citizens on how to establish community gardens.
Master Gardeners learn and make a difference together.
To become a Master Gardener, you do not need to be a gardening expert; all you need is an interest in gardening, a commitment to share your knowledge with others, and some spare time to support the program goals through volunteer work.
Master Gardener training starts Fall 2023.
Take your love of gardening to the next level by joining the Master Gardener program this fall. Hybrid Master Gardener Training starts September 12 and runs through December 5. Participants will study online each week and attend a weekly in-person session.
The online training modules include videos, reading materials, weekly quizzes, and a final exam. The weekly in-person session allows trainees to apply knowledge gained from the weekly content and it offers trainees hands-on experience to gain exposure to new gardening skills.
The hybrid training format makes Master Gardener training more accessible to community members in all stages of life. The online learning of weekly course material offers flexibility and promotes self-paced study; the weekly in-person sessions offer opportunities for trainees to connect and grow together as the Master Gardener Class of 2023.
Dig deeper into annuals and perennials, vegetables, trees, fruits, garden insects, soil, botany and so much more with fellow gardeners this fall.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brittnay Haag is a Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. Her work focuses on youth horticulture education, specifically through school gardens and Jr. Master Gardener programs. Brittnay provides leadership for three county Master Gardener programs and is responsible for developing community programs and providing expertise in horticulture and environmental sciences.