URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners donated 189,392 hours across the state in 2019, answering questions, leading programs, and volunteering at community garden projects. These 2,719 garden enthusiasts of all ages volunteer at local Illinois Extension offices to provide residents horticulture information.
Now, Extension Master Gardeners have a newly designed website, allowing volunteers and those interested in joining the program easy access to the information they need.
“We’re very excited to provide this new website as a central location for anyone interested in the Master Gardener program,” says Candice Hart, Illinois Master Gardener specialist. “We have thousands of volunteers across the state, and now they can access the tools they need in a format that’s compatible with desktops, tablets and smartphones.”
The website, available at extension.illinois.edu/mg, lists upcoming webinars and trainings, information on how to join the program, and resources for current volunteers.
On the become a Master Gardener page, people interested in volunteering can find information on the application and training process. Current volunteers can access continuing education opportunities, the hourly-tracking system, merchandise orders, and past award winners.
“The updated look and organization of the website will serve our volunteers and new recuits well,” Hart says. “They’ll easily be able to find new information, helping them stay up to date.”
Some common Master Gardener projects include creating and maintaining demonstration gardens, answering gardening questions, and leading gardening programs for children, senior citizens or people with disabilities.
ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for the University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and communities to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.