Become a Master Gardener and help others grow

DECATUR, Ill. –  Do you have an interest in gardening, a desire to learn and share your knowledge with others, and time to volunteer in the community? The University of Illinois Extension’s Master Gardener volunteer program serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties may be the perfect fit. Applications are now being accepted for the Master Gardener’s in-person fall training class.

Illinois Extension educators and specialists teach Master Gardener volunteer training. The training emphasizes practical, research-based information and includes topics such as: botany, annuals and perennials, soils, insects, woody ornamental, vegetables, fruits, turf, integrated pest management, and wildlife. Master Gardener volunteers promote well-being through therapeutic horticulture activities and contribute to a safe and abundant food supply through home fruit and vegetable gardening.

“Master Gardener volunteers enjoy serving their communities by helping people find sound management practices for urban, rural, and natural settings,” says Horticulture Educator Sarah Vogel.

DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties fall classes will be Wednesdays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. from Sept. 14 to Dec. 14. Classes will be at the Macon County Extension Office, 3351 N. President Howard Brown Blvd., in Decatur.  Fee for the class is $175, and partial fee waivers are available. Register by Sept. 5.

For those needing more flexibility to participate, register for an online option before Sept. 12. This self-paced program is completed in 14 weeks from the comfort of home on a desktop, laptop, or tablet. A strong internet connection is highly recommended. Fee for online training is $300 and waivers are not available. Registration deadline is Sept. 12.

Apply online for the program at, contact Horticulture Coordinator Beth Miglin at, or call 217-762-2191.

The horticulture program is a branch of University of Illinois Extension that provides research-based information and training about soil testing, tree health, lawn care, pest identification and control, vegetable gardening, and more. The horticulture program also provides Master Gardener training. Find DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Extension Master Gardeners and Horticulture on Facebook.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact 217-877-6042. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.

Source: Sarah Vogel, Horticulture Extension Educator, University of Illinois Extension

Writer: Maria Lightner, Marketing and Communications, University of Illinois Extension