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The Garden Scoop

Master Gardener Graduation

On Friday, April 17, 44 people celebrated graduation from the 2015 Master Gardener training. Master Gardener training began in late January. Training was held in three offices: Champaign (Champaign County), Danville (Vermilion County), and Onarga (Ford-Iroquois Counties). Over the course of 12 weeks, trainees learned everything from botany, vegetables, and fruits to organic gardening, compost, houseplants, and woody ornamentals.

Each county gained several volunteers:

Graduation day began with a tour of the Champaign County Master Gardener Idea Garden followed by a series of field questions held at the office. Trainees were broken up into 10 groups and visited 10 stations featuring common questions brought in through the Horticulture Hotline. Examples of field questions include identifying the weeds Creeping Charlie and Henbit, assessing Oak tree damage, insect identification and finding suggestions for management, as well as vegetable disease identification. The day concluded with a lunch and graduation celebration recognizing the trainee's accomplishments.

The class of 2015 has been engaged and active since the first day of training. All participants are naturally inquisitive. During class, they hungered for information and immediately followed up by practicing what they learned. Prior to graduating, Master Gardener trainees could be found attending committee meeting such as Garden Walk and the Idea Garden. They also joined volunteering at local community gardens in all counties.

Perhaps the greatest testimony of training success was from Champaign County Master Gardener trainee graduate, Lynne Hellmer, who upon turning in her class evaluation, included a picture of her once elegant dining room which now is home to a grow light system for all her seedlings.

Are you interested in the Master Gardener program, but unable to complete training? Join us for any of our upcoming events. Visit our calendar for a complete list of programs. Be sure to join us for our annual Garden Walks on June 14 and June 20!