Serving Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Moultrie and Shelby Counties

2020 Master Gardener Training Information and Application

Thank you for expressing interest in the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteer program! This unique program combines horticulture education with community service. Participants receive 60 hours of instruction from University of Illinois horticulture specialists and educators, with the agreement to return 60 hours of volunteer service through their local Master Gardener program over the following two years.

Volunteer service is divided between office work and community projects. Office work consists primarily of researching answers to horticulture questions submitted by area residents, organizing resources, and preparing diagnostic reports for mailing or computer submission. Community project work varies depending upon the skills and interests of the Master Gardener volunteer, but may include activities such as 4-H youth project judging, civic group presentations, writing newspaper articles, or hands-on work at the local Master Gardener project sites such as the Idea Garden.

Applications will be accepted through Friday December 13. Qualified applicants will be interviewed in person to ensure that their personal goals are a good fit for the program's mission and goals. All training sessions will be held at the Coles County Extension office located at 809 Broadway Ave. Mattoon, IL 61938. As indicated on the 2020 Training Schedule below, sessions are scheduled on Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. beginning January 28 and ending April 07, 2020.  The cost of the volunteer training option is $150, most of which goes toward the purchase of the Master Gardener reference manual. 2020 Master Gardener Training Application.

Please return your application to Coles County Extension office, 809 Broadway Ave Mattoon, IL 61938 by Friday, December 13, 2019. Please feel free to call 217/345-7034 with any questions you might have.

Master Gardener Training schedule 2020

All Sessions are on Tuesdays at the Coles County Extension office in Mattoon.

Classes start at 9:00 a.m. with instruction from 9:15 until 4:00 p.m.

There will be short morning and afternoon breaks, as well as a one-hour lunch break (12-1 p.m.). Participants may bring a lunch or go off-site for the noon meal. 

January 28 -    9:00 AM-Noon Orientation (Dave Shiley)

                        1-4:00 PM Botany (Gemini Bhalsod)

February 4 –   9:00 AM - Noon  Organic Gardening and Composting (Nancy Kreith)

                        1 - 4:00 PM  Fruits (Andrew Holsinger)

February 11 -  Soils (Duane Friend)            

February 18 -  Insects (Ken Johnson and Kelly Allsup)

February 25 -  Lawns (Chris Enroth and Richard Hentschel)       

March 3  –       Vegetables (Bruce Black) 

March 10 -       Diseases & Diagnosis (Richard Hentschel and Ken Johnson)    

March 17 -      Trees, Shrubs, and Vines (Chris Enroth and Ryan Pankau)

March 24 -      9AM - 12:00 Noon Integrated Pest Management (Ken Johnson)

                       1 - 4PM Wildlife (Dave Shiley)     

March 31 -     Annuals and Perennials (Martha Smith and Austin Little)           

April 7 -           9:00AM - 1:00 PM  Graduation Day!  (Dave Shiley)