South Cook County Master Gardeners

Who We Are

The Master Gardener (MG) adult volunteer certification program is nationwide. Master Gardeners are a vital link in getting horticulture information to the public through Illinois Extension offices. Education is what we're all about. With no products or services to sell, Master Gardeners can provide unbiased, research-driven information from the University of Illinois to the public.

Where We Serve

The Cook South Suburban Master Gardener Program focuses primarily on serving the Cook County suburban area south of Roosevelt Road. Master Gardeners are required to complete their volunteer hours in the unit where they train. There are affiliated but separate Master Gardener Programs in the Cook County unit. These are in Cook North Suburban and Cook Chicago units. Additionally, Chicago Botanic Garden runs a Master Gardener program.

Application Process

There is a high volume of interest in our program; not all who apply will be accepted into the training program. Applicants must pass an interview and clear background checks prior to acceptance in the program.

Request Master Gardener Volunteer Assistance

In exchange for this challenging educational experience, Master Gardeners are required to volunteer 60 hours, primarily to share their new knowledge and skills with the community. Master Gardeners are a dedicated group, and many choose to return to volunteer sites year after year to share their knowledge with others. Master Gardeners can provide guidance for school and community gardens, fulfill speaker requests, and answer home gardening questions.

To request Master Gardener assistance, please contact Margaret Burns-Westmeyer at Master Gardeners do not deliver programs or presentations at private homes.

Have a Gardening Question? Email our Master Gardeners at

If you completed the 2020-2021 interest list before 12-31-2021 and have received your next steps, please refrain from completing the new interest list below. 

If you have not completed the interest list before and would like to receive information about Fall 2022 training, please click the button in the section below. 


Please record your volunteer hours for all programs. Use the following link to record your hours. Volunteer Time Tracking System 

Register for the free Four Seasons Gardening Webinar Series on the webinar homepage.

Earn continuing education hours by watching University of Illinois Extension YouTube videos

University of Illinois Extension State Master Gardener Program offers additional resources on the Illinois Extension State MG Homepage.