BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension of McLean, Livingston and Woodford Counties is now accepting applications to participate in the Online Master Gardener Training Program. This online program allows volunteers to complete the training who may have been unable to in the past due to schedule conflicts. This online, self-guided course for Illinois residents can be completed any time of day or night. Set aside about 4 hours per week for videos, reading, and completing quizzes, and the training will be completed in 14 weeks.

Registration for the summer class is open now through May 25, 2020. Classes will begin June 15. Contact your local University of Illinois Extension Office at 309-663-8306 for more information or to receive an application form.

The 2020 Master Gardener Online Training includes 13 modules. Topics include: Botany; Soils and Fertilizers; Plant Diseases; Entomology; Integrated Pest Management; Annuals and Perennials; Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines; Lawns; Small and Tree Fruits; Vegetables; Composting/Organic Gardening; and Living with Wildlife.

Each module consists of several videos and an online quiz; a strong internet connection is highly recommended.

You don’t have to be a gardening expert to become a Master Gardener. All you need is an interest in gardening, some time to volunteer in the community, and a desire to share your knowledge with others. The program is about connecting people with other gardeners, with their community, and with reliable resources for information.

This year marks the 48th anniversary of the Illinois Master Gardener program. With over 2,600 volunteers today, Illinois Master Gardeners have given more than 2,309,348 volunteer hours, providing a value of over $46 million in horticultural help to communities across the state.

Today, Master Gardener volunteers—who come from farms, small towns, suburbs, and cities—offer numerous educational opportunities in nearly every county in the state.

Go to master-gardener.extension.illinois.edu/mgot to read more about the program and contact your local Extension staff with questions about getting started this summer at 309-663-8306 or send us an email at uie-lmw@illinois.edu.