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Master Gardener Training offered in Stephenson County

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FREEPORT, Ill.- The University of Illinois Extension is pleased to announce that Master Gardener Training will be held in Stephenson County starting in February.  Interested people can register now for the training by calling the office at (815) 235-4125 or on the web at

Training consists of 8 sessions (and two optional field trips) conducted on select Tuesday evenings, starting on February 28 and continuing through June 6.  To allow participants more flexibility during this training, we will be using a flipped classroom style of training. Each week, participants will be given a reading assignment and videos related to the topic to complete before the meeting. Then participants will meet at the U of I Extension office in Stephenson County with Extension staff and Educators on select Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for discussion, review, and follow-up.

“We are happy to offer in-person Master Gardener training in this new format,” stated Nikki Keltner, Program Coordinator, University of Illinois Extension.  “This will enable participants to complete the information at their own pace but the opportunity to meet with an instructor and other participants for an interactive discussion. This format is designed to fit into today’s busy lifestyle.”     

Coursework covers botany, soils and fertility, woody ornamentals/pruning, organic gardening, vegetables, houseplants, fruits, insect identification and control, turf management, composting, U of I resources, and more!

Once training is complete, participants join the existing Master Gardener volunteers in service to our community, fulfilling the Master Gardner mission of “Helping others learn to grow.” As volunteers, Master Gardeners make a difference in the community, answering homeowners’ questions, teaching gardening lessons for children, planning and presenting at educational workshops, creating display gardens, and working with local organizations.

“Classes and volunteer work complement each other, building on materials learned and sharing it with others in the community,” stated Keltner.

Pre-registration is required to attend Master Gardener Training. The fee for the 2023 Master Gardener training will be determined based on the manual format you choose.  If you would like a printed manual your cost is $165. If you prefer to receive your manual on a USB drive only, your cost is $145. Manuals and USB drives will be available for you at the first meeting. For more information about Master Gardener Training contact Nikki Keltner at (815) 235-4125.