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Become a U of I Extension Master Gardener

Do you want to know more about horticulture?  Are you looking for ways to volunteer and connect with other gardening enthusiasts?  The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program trains adult volunteers who assist on many local projects.  Master Gardeners grow produce for area food pantries, maintain demonstration gardens, and teach educational workshops for youth and adults. 

All trainees receive a copy of the Illinois Master Gardener Manual.  Topics included are soil health, fruit and vegetable production, ornamentals and landscape design, disease and insect management, and much more.  Online and classroom training is available.  Online training is a self-paced program that uses prerecorded presentations.  Online sessions begin January 25 and costs $350.  The classroom training will include presentations, hands-on activities, and group discussions.  Classes are held on Tuesdays, February 16 through May 4 from 9:00 a.m.-noon.  Classroom training costs $250. 

Participants must pre-register for the training.  Online training deadline is December 18, 2020.  Classroom training deadline is February 1, 2021.  Applications are available at  If you have questions or would like to request a an application, please contact Sarah Ruth at 618-939-3434 or