Skip to main content

Master Gardener and Master Naturalist Volunteer Service Recognized at Annual Holiday Gathering

Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam County Master Gardener and Master Naturalist Volunteers were recognized for their years of service and individual projects at the Annual Holiday Gatherings in Ottawa and Henry.  Volunteers in these four counties have made a great impact on their communities.  Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteers participate in education programs in their communities. Those opportunities may include speaking at clubs, civic groups, or schools; answering calls or emails at help desks; establishing demonstration gardens that serve as educational tools; and educating citizens on how to establish community gardens and resources.

Marcia Gray
Marcia Gray, New Intern and Bettyann Harrison Master Gardener/Master Naturalist Coordinator

Volunteers met over a potluck and discussed plans for future projects, exchanged gifts, made natural soy candles and celebrated years of service. Certificates, patches, and pins were awarded to attendees for 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of volunteer service to their communities. Among active, intern and alumni members, the four-county area awarded certificates for over 500 years of combined volunteer service. Three trainees enrolled in the Master Gardener Class during 2022.  Marcia Gray, of Grand Ridge completed her course work in November of 2022 to graduate to intern status. Spanning the years, Barb Dahlbach of Toluca and Pattie Ong of Wenona received their twenty-five-year service pin, while Gaye Kyle of Princeton received her 20-year pin.

Barb Dahlbach""
Barb Dahlbach Master Gardener 25-year Pin and Bettyann Harrison Master Gardener/Master Naturalist Coordinator

The new year has much in store for this very active group of volunteers.  Continuation of very successful projects such as Seeds to Harvest and Community Gardens as well as Resource Conservation and Education are on the agenda.  New plans are being made for additional activities to target youth and adults in the service area. Keep your eyes open for new educational opportunities to include cooking with herbs, after school programs, new community vegetable as well as native plant beds, plants for food pantries, as well as some very interesting educational opportunities.  The program will also be offering additional Master Gardener and Master Naturalist trainings. For more information about becoming a Master Gardener or Master Naturalist, contact Bettyann Harrison, Master Gardener/Master Naturalist Coordinator at (309) 364-2356 or

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.

The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. 

If you have questions or need more information please call University of Illinois Extension- Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 815-224-0889. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus.