McLean County Master Gardener Projects

Extension Pollinator Garden

1615 Commerce Pkwy, Bloomington, IL

This project initially focused on container display gardens at the Extension office. It has evolved to provide examples of plants that support pollinators such as bees, butterflies and birds. There are 2 display garden beds, one focuses on native plants while the other has more typical bedding plants (annuals and perennials) that attract various pollinators. There are also containers that are planted with various plants to attract pollinators. The containers are out seasonally. These gardens give visitors examples of what they might consider planting around their home gardens. Inside the lobby is a map and list of plants to help identify what is growing in the gardens. The gardens are designated a Pollinator Pocket and Monarch Waystation.

monarch caterpillar climbing down a stalk of milkweed

Herb Garden at ISU Horticulture Center

Raab Road, Normal, IL

Since 2014, in cooperation with the ISU Horticulture Center, the existing herb garden was expanded and revamped by the Master Gardeners in cooperation with Horticulture Center staff. Master Gardeners continue to maintain the garden each year, as well as providing scheduled educational programs.

herb garden at Illinois State University horticulture center

Meditation Garden at Carle BroMenn Medical Center

Corner of W. Virginia Ave and Prospect Ave, Normal IL

The garden is used by patients, their families, hospital staff, volunteers, and the community.  The design focuses on a variety of smaller gardens surrounding a central water feature, including a Legacy Garden, a Swallowtail Garden, a Friendship Garden, and a Low Maintenance Garden.  Master Gardeners assist with design, planting, and educational programming.  There are also benches, tables, and the cornerstone from the Mecherle Nursing Dormitory which was once located on this site.

Teamwork Award: Meditation Gardens at Carle BroMenn Medical Center

fountain on rocks in garden space

Sarah's Garden at David Davis Mansion

1000 Monroe Dr, Bloomington, IL

This project blends preservation of the restored 1872 garden with educational horticulture programs. Master Gardeners care for the garden and learn about the unique plants with help from community volunteers and the Home Spun 4-H Club. Among educational efforts offered are a Plant Propagation Workshop, and both spring and fall garden activities for 3rd grade classrooms participating in the Mansion’s Better Home & Garden program. Garden tours are provided during Mansion events and educational activities are offered to visiting youth groups, garden clubs and bus tours. The Sarah’s Garden Committee meets monthly March through October to coordinate programs, garden care, seed collection, and the off-site reserve.

two master gardener volunteers water and weed a bed in the background of yellow heliopsis flowers

McLean County Junior Master Gardener Projects

Bloomington Junior High Garden Club

Master Gardeners assist students in planning, planting and maintaining various horticultural projects throughout the academic year.

junior high students carrying water to garden plots


Holton Homes Junior Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners use raised beds and self-irrigating planters to raise vegetables, herbs, and annual flowers for Holton Homes and John Kane residents. Holton Homes and John Kane Senior Homes are both part of the Bloomington Housing Authority's group of public housing located in southwest Bloomington. Master Gardeners work with area youth and seniors to raise, harvest, and distribute produce to the community's residents. In Spring and Autumn, we provide education to youth at after-school programs held at the Holton Homes computer lab. The seniors at John Kane Homes provide input to Master Gardeners and work with us during weekly garden maintenance and harvesting and are the primary recipients of our fresh produce.

children walking among sweet corn and tomato cages

LeRoy School Garden

805 N Barnett St, Le Roy, IL

Master Gardeners lead a weekly after school gardening program for students.

pale purple coneflower on display in front of elementary school sign