We believe in Illinois: its people, its diverse neighborhoods and communities, and our shared future. We believe that health and wellness are the foundation for individuals, families, and communities reaching their full potential. We believe in and promote a culture of service as fundamental to strong and healthy families, neighborhoods, and state. We believe that the long term sustainability of the environment and agricultural productivity requires stewardship and care. We believe in and respect youth’s potential to change the world and work to support nurturing communities and opportunities to learn and grow.

We believe in the state of Illinois and we are committed to our mission, linking local communities to the University and developing programs, tools, and knowledge that will support needed change. These webinars help us fulfill our mission: to align research to needs and translate research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.

vegetables growing in garden

Home Fruit and Vegetable Gardening    

May 11: Green Screens Fences and Borders | Four Seasons Gardening
The home landscape can be thought of as an extension of our living space, and much like the rooms in our homes, we can use plants as structural elements in the landscape. If you’ve visited an arboretum or botanical garden, you’ve likely seen walls created with different plant species, such as evergreens and perennial shrubs. Explore design elements, some good species for creating screening, and design consideration for creating a green fence or screen successfully. Contact: Austin Little

Future Learning Opportunities


pansies flowers

Lawns, Shrubs, and Flower Gardening    

May 13: Shade Gardens: Native Plants & Ecological Benefits
You may have heard about the benefits of planting native plants in your home landscape, but is there a place for native plants in the shady spots of your yard? Learn which native plants are best suited for a shade garden. There are many ecological benefits of planting natives underneath trees. Explore your options for choosing shade-tolerant native plants. Replace your existing vegetation with natives that are both aesthetically appealing and help support wildlife food webs.

Future Learning Opportunities


fruit and oatmeal

Family, Food, and Finances      

May 19: Sample the Season | Eat Fresh, Eat Local
What kind of fruits and vegetables should you expect when you arrive at an Illinois farmers market? Learn how to prepare these fruits and vegetables, and get inspiration for ways to use them at the dinner table. You’ll discover the art of menu planning, and take away new recipes to try.

May 20: Healthy Behaviors for a Healthy Immune System: Lessons for Living
We want to do all we can to protect ourselves from becoming ill. A healthy immune system gives the body a layer of protection. While no one food or healthy lifestyle behavior can prevent illness, you can help boost your immunity with a healthy balance of nutrient-rich foods, adequate sleep, physical activity, and managed stress. Join us to learn the steps you need to take to build a strong immune system. 

May 27: Wild Game: Hunt to Cook Event
Get advice for hunting and preparing your wild game after the hunt. Illinois Learn to Hunt will share basic field dressing, post-hunt processing, storage, and preparation techniques for a variety of game in order to get the quality and wholesomeness wild game is known for. Illinois Extension will share food safety information for handling game animals, along with new recipe ideas and tips on cooking methods that improve meat texture and flavor.

Future Learning Opportunities


government building

Community Economic Development and Local Government 

Future Learning Opportunities

May 12: Age-Friendly Communities
By 2030, one of every five people will be aged 65 or older, according to AARP. The U.S. Census Bureau expects the number of people in the U.S. over 65 years of age to reach 77 million by 2034. As these baby boomers retire and make up a vast portion of small community constituencies, their needs and interests are of increasing relevance to local government and community leaders Successful age-friendly communities provide affordable and accessible housing options, access to vital services, and foster economic growth, opportunities, and activities that benefit people of all ages but uphold a public commitment to addressing the needs of older people. The World Health Organization, in partnership with AARP, has developed a set of guidelines and resources for communities seeking “Age-Friendly” status. This process involves organizing community stakeholders to evaluate, plan, and implement strategies to improve the lives of older adults in their community. Wendy Bartlo, assistant director for the Center on Health, Aging, and Disability at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will share insights into community implementation strategies and highlights successful examples of Age-Friendly community initiatives in a free, online Local Government Education event co-hosted by University of Illinois Extension and Rural Partners.

May 19: Reversing the Exodus
The outmigration trend impacts communities in multiple ways, including school enrollment, availability of quality health care, future leadership, a skilled workforce, and business development. She recommends developing a strategic plan to address outmigration and attract young adults back into rural communities. Pam Schallhorn, University of Illinois Extension regional specialist in community and economic development, will discuss the development and implementation of community talent retention strategies and share insights into the opportunities remote work may provide for people to migrate back to rural communities. Register in advance to attend this free online event co-hosted by University of Illinois Extension and Rural Partners.


envrionment bird flying

Energy and Environment

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3 youth happy

4-H Youth Development

Future Learning Opportunities


farmers markets flowers vegetables

Local Food Systems, Small Farms, and Specialty Operations

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forest with sunlight shining in

Trees and Forests

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If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, contact the presenter listed. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your needs.