MURPHYSBORO, Ill.— University of Illinois Extension will be hosting training this spring at John A. Logan College for the next cohort of master gardeners.

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.

Spring training will be held Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Jan. 28 to Apr. 21, 2020 at the Mees Center at John A. Logan College. Some of the course topics include botany, organic gardening, soils, insects, diseases, and vegetables and fruits.

Following the training, participants complete a 60-hour volunteer internship within two years to become certified master gardeners. After certification, volunteers continue learning and volunteering to remain active master gardeners by completing 10 hours of continuing education and 30 hours of volunteering each year.

“If you enjoy learning about gardening and like to share your gardening knowledge, the master gardener program may be for you. All you need is an interest in gardening, an open mind, and a willingness to share your knowledge with others. The role of the master gardeners is to share unbiased, reliable, research-based information with home landscapers and gardeners. Another important function is to encourage young people to enjoy the pleasures of flower and vegetable growing,” said Austin Little, horticulture extension educator and local master gardener coordinator.

Applications are due January 10, 2020 and can be found online at: https://extension.illinois.edu/fjprw/master-gardeners under the steps for joining tab. Acceptance into the program will require a mandatory background check and an informal in-person interview. The program has a $200 fee which covers the cost of twelve-week training and manual. If you have questions about the program, contact Austin Little at (618) 687-1727.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any of our programs, please contact your local county extension office. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting access needs.

News Source: Austin Little (618) 687-1727, little84@illinois.edu

News Writer: Heather Willis (618) 357-2126, hdwillis@illinois.edu