Extension Master Gardener Training Begins

Notes on the Event Schedule Change

The impact of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to create uncertainty and concern both globally and here in our community. Illinois Extension is in the process of activating strategies with campus to protect everyone’s health and safety.

This week, the University of Illinois announced a suspension on all in-person events and meetings in campus facilities to protect you and our entire community. Illinois Extension, as the outreach program of the university, aligns with all policies related to public health and safety.

As a result of this action, the Extension Master Gardener training scheduled for to begin April 2 has been cancelled. Participants who have registered will receive a direct email from Ian Goslin, horticulture program coordinator, with further details about refund options.

Look for specific information about other cancellations and postponements on our website at web.extension.illinois.edu/fmpt. If you have any questions about events, please contact our office at 309-347-6614.

A collection of resources to assist families and community leaders preparing for and coping with COVID-19 is available online at go.illinois.edu/ExtensionCOVID19resources.

We are working to support all Illinois families at this time. We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate this situation.

Training begins April 2 and is held one day a week until May 28. All sessions are held on Thursdays, and all classes run 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Training includes both classroom lectures and outdoor activities, with a special focus on hands-on skills building in the latter part of the course. 

Master Gardeners learn how to improve home landscapes, grow their own food, care for household plants, and manage pests. Our 9-week training program teaches all about fruits and vegetables, trees and flowers, plant disease, botany, insects, turfgrass, and soils.  Classes are taught by University of Illinois Educators and Specialists at various locations, including the Peoria and Tazewell County Extension offices, Forest Park Nature Center in Peoria, and Illinois Central College.

Volunteer Option - For those wanting to become a Master Gardener volunteer, the University of Illinois requires each applicant to complete an application, background screening paperwork and schedule an interview with Extension staff. The fee to participate is $250 and covers classroom sessions, handouts, and the Master Gardener manual. Upon completion of the Master Gardener training, graduates who have selected the volunteer option will become Master Gardener Interns and have 2 years to complete 60 volunteer service hours to become an Active Master Gardener. To continue as an Active Master Gardener, volunteers must fulfill 30 volunteer hours and 10 continuing education hours annually.   

For more information about the education only option contact Ian Goslin, ianmg@illinois.edu

Volunteer activities examples include Luthy Botanical Garden in Peoria County, The Giving Garden in Tazewell County, Junior Master Gardener leadership in Mason County, and Jones Park in Fulton County. Master Gardeners also provide education through the Gardening HelpLine, the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau, at the Peoria Riverfront Farmers Market informational booth, during Tazewell County’s Plant Bingo event, at the Gardeners’ Big Day event in Fulton county, at community gardens throughout the region, and much more.

Applications, screening paperwork, interview schedules, and course fee, must be received by March 20th. Registrations for non-volunteers are also due by March 20th. Space is limited.



Master Gardener Brochure

If you would like to encourage others to attend this training you can share our Facebook event.

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