Serving Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties

Vermilion County Master Gardeners

Vermilion County Master Gardeners began serving residents of Vermilion County in 1994. 

They have partnerships with Danville Area Community College, the VA Illiana Health Care System, Douglas Discovery Garden, Danville Public Library, and the Vermilion County Conservation District. 

Master Gardeners research and answer questions from the public on subjects like:

  • plant diseases
  • trees
  • herbs, fruits, vegetables 
  • annuals and perennials
  • plant identification
  • raised beds
  • native plants
  • invasive plants
  • pollinators

In 2019, about 80 Vermilion County Master Gardeners volunteered over 8,000 hours making their community a better place to live. They volunteer in community gardens and provide educational programs for adults and children.

Master Gardener Training Classes will be held through the Vermilion County Extension Office starting in February 2021. Classes will be a hybrid, consisting of in-person learning including field trips, in-person classes with a small number of students and a variety of choices for at-home study. Options will be available for those where internet and technology can be an issue. Visit our Master Gardener page or call Jenney Hanrahan at 217-442-8615 for more information.

If you enjoy gardening, learning, and sharing your knowledge with others, then the Master Gardener program may be for you. Master Gardeners enjoy learning and sharing their knowledge in ways that benefits the community.

How to Become a Master Gardener

Master Gardener Training Classes will be held in the Vermilion County Extension Office in Danville in starting in February 2021. Classes will be a hybrid and consist of self-study at home and in-person learning including field trips as possible with Covid 19.

The curriculum will include a variety of choices with options available for those where internet and technology present challenges. Call Jenney Hanrahan at 217-442-8615 for more information and to reserve a seat in the 2021 training program.

Training sessions will take place over an 11 week period starting in late winter going into spring.Class topics are led by University of Illinois Extension educators and other horticultural experts.

An online option is also available with an at-your-own-pace format. Call Jenney Hanrahan for more information on the online program which will start in January 2021.

No matter which class option students choose, they will learn about different aspects of gardening like vegetables, fruits, flowers, insects, soil, disease management and more.

  • 2021 training will include field trips where students learn concepts like pruning in a hands-on way. Students will also have at home garden activities like seed starting to complete. 
  • Volunteers make a commitment to complete 60 volunteer hours on approved Master Gardener projects within two years. This is dependent on Covid policy and time could be extended.

To begin the Master Gardener volunteer application process:

Check the training schedule for your availability.

To complete the application process and to maintain certified active Master Gardener status, volunteers must complete:

Active/Certified Master Gardeners

  • Master Gardener Annual Agreement

To Report Volunteer Hours

Vermilion County Master Gardeners hold educational programs on the third Tuesday of each month. With Covid, those programs have shifted to online webinars. 

2021 Schedule Coming Soon!


Garden Walk: Master Gardeners collaborate with local residents allowing the public to view amazing gardens in the community on one special day in June. 

Garden Day Workshop, Saturday, March 13, 2021 An annual event, local gardeners wait for all winter.  Program includes speakers, tote bag filled with garden themed items and coupons and a silent auction.  Attendees are encouraged to register early in February. The silent auction is free and open to the public. 

Atwood House Garden: Located at Kennekuk County Park, Master Gardeners maintain the gardens from spring to fall and help with new plantings of both flowers and vegetables. They participate in the Plant A Row program where they grow vegetables for local food pantries.

Kennekuk Herb Garden: Master Gardeners plant and tend over 100 labeled herbs in raised beds. The Kennekuk Herb Garden received certification from the Illinois Herb Society in 2015. There are sections with plants used by Native Americans, plants found in the Bible and culinary herbs. Tours with Master Gardeners are available- call the Extension Office at 217-442-8615 for more information.

Plant Sale: May 2021 at First Presbyterian Church, Danville, Plants include annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs for the garden. Master Gardeners start many of the plants from seed and/or take them from their own gardens.

Radio Program: Provides an opportunity for the public to submit questions about gardening practices or concerns during a weekly radio show. It airs on Wednesdays on WDAN, our local radios station, at 5:00 PM. Recorded shows can be found at WDAN Radio.

Horticulture Help Line: Every year the Vermilion County Extension Office receives gardening questions from local residents regarding plants, insects and plant diseases. Master Gardeners research and answer these calls providing reliable information at no cost to residents. 217-442-8615

Speakers Bureau: Master Gardeners deliver horticulture presentations to local community organizations on a wide variety of topics like Container Gardening, Pollinator Pockets, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens, Seed Starting, Annuals and Perennials, Trees and Shrubs etc. Call the Extension Office for more information: 217-442-8615

VA Committee: Master Gardeners volunteer about 2,500 hours a year at the Danville VA. They are active in the VA Greenhouse where they propagate, grow, and maintain plants. They design, plant and maintain a Pollinator Garden on the grounds where visitors, staff and veterans can sit and enjoy hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators zip in and out. They are responsible for maintaining the VA Healing Garden- as peaceful secluded garden available only to veterans residents, as well as monthly Horticulture Therapy programs for veterans in several areas and different ages. 

Danville Public Library Children's Wonder Garden A Children's Garden Club that meets weekly all year. Master Gardeners design, plant and tend a garden with the children as well as offering horticulture programs indoors like growing mushrooms, seed starting and forcing bulbs.

Douglas Discovery Garden Master Gardeners plant and maintain annual, perennial flower, herb and vegetable gardens with the local community. They collaborate with local schools to offer gardening classes in winter months culminating with students planting seedlings in about 20 raised beds in May.  

Monthly Educational Horticulture Programs held at the Danville Public Library -usually the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6pm  (unless indicated otherwise), 319 N. Vermilion St. in Danville. You may pre-register online or at the Extension Office 3164 N. Vermilion. Call 217-442-8615 or email  You may also register at the door except for 'Make and Take' classes where a small fee applies to cover supplies.