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Explore outdoor, backyard hobbies with spring webinar series

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URBANA, Ill. — In a few short months, spring will be sprung. Kick it off by discovering a new outdoor hobby or backyard project to add to the to-do list through Four Seasons Gardening webinars beginning March 19.

University of Illinois Extension horticulture experts will share tips for backyard beekeeping, options for managing and replacing invasive Callery pear trees across landscapes, and provide steps to achieve more natural, environmentally friendly lawn care. Sessions are free, with live online sessions from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on select Tuesdays. Registration is required.

Extension educators Jennifer Fishburn, Sarah Vogel, and Gemini Bhalsod will lead the spring series. Find more information and sign up for sessions at

  • Backyard Beekeeping | March 19
    Beekeeping is a growing and rewarding hobby that can be enjoyed by backyard gardeners looking to expand into new ventures. Learn the basics of starting a backyard colony, understanding honeybees, and hive management techniques. Get questions answered before the hive arrives.
  • Managing Invasives: Eight Replacements for the Callery Pear | April 23
    Now considered an invasive species, the Callery pear is a widely used ornamental flowering tree with negative effects on native ecosystems. Until policies are amended and put in place to regulate the Callery pear, also called Bradford pear, this tree continues to be commonly produced and planted. Discover the numerous Illinois native species that are suitable alternatives or replacements for the Callery pear in the landscape.
  • Exploring Natural Lawn Care | May 14
    With billions of gallons of water used on lawns every year, more residents are researching natural approaches to lawn care. Learn what goes into taking care of a lawn and what to swap to achieve more natural, environmentally friendly lawn habits. Explore resources, what a lawn requires, and how to seasonally adjust natural care techniques. 

Can’t make a session? Every program is recorded and available on the Illinois Extension Horticulture YouTube channel. Videos are available about two weeks after the live program.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Gemini Bhalsod at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting access needs. 

SOURCE: Gemini Bhalsod, horticulture educator, Illinois Extension

WRITER: Jenna Braasch, media communications coordinator, Illinois Extension

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.