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Master Gardener Program Seeks Applicants

University of Illinois Extension is accepting applications to participate in the 2017 Master Gardener Training. Master Gardeners are volunteers that have gone through an eleven week horticulture training course led by Extension Educators. Once training is complete, trainees participate in volunteer work before being designated as "Master Gardeners."

Master Gardener Training will be held locally, in Freeport at the Highland Community College Student Conference Center on Thursdays, beginning September 7, 2017. Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Thursday through November 16.

Each county has a variety of volunteer opportunities such as answering home horticulture questions from the public, teaching young children how to garden, conducting public workshops, creating display gardens, working with local organizations, and more.

Class topics include botany, soils and fertility, trees and shrubs, organic gardening, vegetables, fruits, insect identification and control, turf grass management, annuals & perennials, disease diagnosis and control, pesticide safety, University of Illinois resources, and more.

Applications must be turned in before the start of classes along with a $175 registration fee. For more information call the University of Illinois Extension at (815) 235-4125, applications can be completed on-line at