Who We Are

Master Gardeners are adults of all ages who love gardening and who have previous gardening experience. There are more than 2,700 Master Gardener volunteers in Illinois.

University of Illinois Extension increasingly uses trained Master Gardener volunteers to meet the constant demand for horticultural consumer information by citizens of our state.

The mission of the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program is "Helping Others Learn to Grow." Master Gardeners involve people in improving the quality of life by helping them find sound management practices for home and urban natural resources, by creating aesthetically pleasing environments, by promoting well-being through people-plant interactions and horticultural therapy, and by contributing to a safe, abundant food supply through home fruit and vegetable production.

The Master Gardener program:

  • Expands the capacity of the University of Illinois Extension Service to distribute research-based horticultural information to individuals and groups in local communities.
  • Develops and enhance community programs related to horticulture. These programs are educational in nature and may involve environmental improvements, horticultural therapy projects, community and school gardening projects, or other programs determined by local need.
  • Develops the leadership potential of Master Gardener volunteers through a volunteer administrative network designed to assist Extension staff in managing local Master Gardener activities and programs.