I am continually impressed and humbled by what our University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners accomplish. Although they all deserve accolades, several of our local Master Gardeners were recently recognized at the 2017 Illinois Master Gardener Conference in Normal for their outstanding efforts.
May Bach, Jennifer Bass, and Kathy Edwards were among 36 Master Gardeners receiving the State Outstanding Master Gardener Award.
May's numerous projects include the Peoria Farmers Market, Bel-Wood and Courtyard Estates of Farmington Nursing Homes, Peoria Home Show, Wildlife Prairie Park Kim St. John Butterfly Habitat, and speaker's bureau programs. She and a team of volunteers coordinated the native butterfly habitat house at Wildlife Prairie Park where May helped build the wooden arbor. She educates children there and at various other events using age-appropriate activities, such as creating pollinator garden seed balls.
Jennifer volunteer locations include ICC gardens in E. Peoria, Wildlife Prairie Park, and the Peoria Home Show. She is responsible for a recent revitalization of the long-neglected ICC Hosta Garden. At the Wildlife Prairie Park Heritage Garden she hosted a student garden club and instructed the students in fall garden activities. Jennifer worked an impressive 550 volunteer hours in her first three years as a Master Gardener.
Fulton County Master Gardener Kathy Edward's volunteer projects include educational gardens at the Canton YMCA, Jones Park, Graham Hospital, Canton's Lutheran Church, and Heartland Healthcare Center. In keeping with the Master Gardener mission of "Helping Others Learn to Grow," Kathy makes sure that her projects are educational as well as beautiful. In fact, she loves to teach others about gardening and has given numerous presentations to a variety of audiences.
A team of eight University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners was awarded a teamwork award for their Wildlife Federation Mayor's Monarch Garden in Pekin, Illinois. Team members Susan McCabe, Lisa Ziegenhorn, Pat Alexander, Fran Stroemer, Carol Cihla, Margaret Kelly, Jennifer Bass, and Ellen Rice taught youth and community members what is necessary to preserve monarchs and create a monarch habitat. Together they designed a new garden space, found plants, created the garden, made signs, maintained the garden, and shared their experiences. Youth were represented from the Saintly Dragon's 4-H club, Girl Scout Troop 4185, and a home-schooled family. This garden is a certified Monarch Waystation and part of City of Pekin Mayor John McCabe's National Wildlife Federation's Mayors' Monarch Pledge.
Congratulations to May Bach, Jennifer Bass, Kathy Edwards, and the entire Pekin Monarch Garden team for their awards. You can view pictures and learn more about Master Gardener programs in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties athttp://web.extension.illinois.edu/fmpt/photogallery/3689