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Master Gardeners Provide Gardening Tips at Various 2017 Events

Written by Rhonda Ferree, retired horticulture educator

In 2016, 169 Master Gardener volunteers contributed 13,920 hours in the Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell Counties. Their volunteer service is valued at $328,000.

Master Gardeners have several large events scheduled in our four county Extension Unit.

Stop by their informational booth at the Peoria Home Show on February 24-28 in the Peoria Civic Center. They will answer general gardening questions and distribute informational brochures and bookmarks.

The 18th Annual Gardeners' BIG Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 29 at Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown. Attendees will hear speakers, visit vendors, see gardening displays, and tour the museum exhibits. Register early because this fills very quickly.

Some events are still in the planning stage. Each year Master Gardeners have information booths at various fairs, festivals, and farmers markets. In 2016 those included the Peoria Riverfront Market, Canton market on the square, and E. Peoria market.

Another event that fills very quickly is Tazewell County's Plant Bingo held in June at the Morton Knights of Columbus at 6:30 pm. This is a fun evening spent socializing with gardening enthusiasts, sharing stories, and learning about all kinds of plants....all while playing bingo. Space is limited and this event is very popular, so plan to arrive early.

Peoria Master Gardeners invite you to join them for a free informational garden program. Held on the third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 for social time and speaker at 1:00 p.m. Programs are held at the University of Illinois Extension office in Peoria at 4810 North Sheridan unless otherwise indicated.

The Peoria Master Gardeners educate about specific plants each year during their Plant Sale. Usually held in May, this sale includes many herbs, vegetables, and flowers grown by the Master Gardeners. Plants go very quickly, so watch for the date and arrive early!

Join us at a program near you. More information about all of our University of Illinois Extension programs is available at or by calling 309-543-3308.



As horticulture educator, Rhonda Ferree inspired citizens in local communities to grow their own food and improve their home landscapes. She focused on high quality, impactful programs that taught homeowners how to create energy-efficient landscapes using sustainable practices that increase property values and help the environment.

After 30 years with University of Illinois Extension, Rhonda retired in 2018. She continues to share her passion for horticulture related topics as “Retro Rhonda” on social media.

ILRiverHort is a blog that helps people connect to nature and grow.