Kendall County Master Gardeners

Take Your Love of Gardening to the Next Level


The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Program is a volunteer program open to anyone with the desire to learn and to share information with others about research-based landscape and gardening practices.

Master Gardeners reach into the communities with a variety of projects in partnership with local organizations, and they also staff the Master Gardener Help Desk by assisting residents with garden and landscape questions.

Volunteers participate in extensive training sessions conducted by University of Illinois Extension specialists and educators in horticulture, insects, diseases, grasses, woody and herbaceous ornamentals, and fruits and vegetables.

Become a Master Gardener

Interested in volunteering? You do not need to be an experienced gardener to qualify. If you are looking for a way to give back and to grow your knowledge of horticulture, this may be the opportunity for you.

If you are a Kendall County resident and would like to receive information about the next Master Gardener training (tentatively scheduled for fall 2025), please complete this Master Gardener Training Interest Form. You will be placed on our email list to receive information about the next informational meeting and the application process.

To become a Master Gardener, you must attend the orientation meeting where you will learn about our program and how to apply. The horticulture staff reviews all applications and an interview is required. 

The Master Gardener training includes 40 hours of horticultural training in a wide variety of topics. In return, trainees are required to volunteer 40 hours to the program, and staffing the Master Gardener Help Desk is required for the first 24 of those volunteer hours.

Learn more about Illinois Master Gardeners

Connect with the Help Desk

Open: March-October | Monday-Wednesday-Friday
Hours: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Master Gardener logo

Request a Master Gardener for a meeting or event

University of Illinois Extension is pleased to present these horticultural programs to your Kendall County group. We offer a wide range of topics to reflect various seasons, gardening styles, and plants.

View available topics and program summaries below. To request a program please fill out a request form.

Topic choices for presentations

Attracting Butterflies to the Garden
Brightly colored butterflies are not only an attractive addition to your garden, they are useful pollinators. Learn about Illinois butterflies and how to design your garden to attract them.

Body Smart Gardening
Gardening can be of the most rewarding activities with fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and expanses of lawns dotted with trees. However, gardening can take a toll on the body, whether you are young or old. This program will give your group steps to make gardening more enjoyable. Topics will include clothing, tools, and methods.

Garden History in England and Wales
View scenes of historic gardens in northern England and Wales in a PowerPoint presentation of an educational tour in 2016. Learn about the designs of landscape planners such as Capability Brown and Joseph Paxton. This is a rich man's sport; don't expect to see cottage gardens.

Planning and Planting a Vegetable Garden
Feed your whole family the fruits and vegetables they enjoy from your own garden. From site preparation (size, location and soil) through harvest, a Master Gardener will give your audience the tips and tricks for successful vegetable gardening.

Preparing Your Garden for Winter
End of season tasks prepare your garden for winter and make next season’s garden more successful. Topics include fertilization, watering and weed control, care of perennials, planting spring bulbs and more.

Preparing Your Garden for Spring
Learn the seasonal chores that should be done in spring to get your garden off to a good start. Topics covered include planting seeds indoors and out, planting cool season flowers, seasonal lawn care as well as watering, fertilizing, dividing and pruning.

Seed Starting
Starting your own seedlings for the garden is a great way to save money and grow varieties of flowers, vegetables and other plants not usually found in stores or garden centers. A University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener will present tips on starting your own plants from seed, including soil preparation, container selection, lighting options and troubleshooting.

University of Illinois Extension is pleased to present these horticultural programs to your Kendall County group. To request a program please complete this form.


Requests should be made four weeks in advance in order to coordinate our volunteers’ schedules. Please note: Speaker Bureau requests received on or after March 1 will be charged with the 2023 fee of $150 per Master Gardener presentation. Thank you. 

Meet our team

Resources for current Master Gardener volunteers