DUQUOIN, Ill.— During the DuQuoin State Fair, several Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists were on-hand to answer horticulture related questions and share information on the area’s natural resources. In addition, several Master Gardener volunteers hosted pop-up programming.

University of Illinois Extension uses trained Master Gardener volunteers to meet the constant demand for horticultural consumer information by citizens of our state and region. 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, creating aesthetically pleasing environments, 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.

Our Master Naturalist program is made up of a corps of volunteers that provide support in the conservation, management and interpretation of the area’s natural resources. They host conservation activities in local natural areas and conduct environmental programming through presentations, tours and displays.

Fairgoers looking for a break from the heat stopped in to check out some interesting demonstrations. Pop-up programming included a demonstration on propagating plants by Mary Jo Novak, information on mulching from Deb White, creating kokedama balls with Karen Glynn and Sally Cook and information on gardening heirloom crops with Horticulture Educator Austin Little.

Over the course of the fair, the volunteers reached a little over 1,000 individuals that stopped by the booth. To learn more about the Master Naturalist program, please visit: extension.illinois.edu/fjprw/master-naturalists. If you want to learn more about our Master Gardener program, you can find out more at: extension.illinois.edu/fjprw/master-gardeners.

News source: Austin Little, 618-687-1727, little84@illinois.edu

News writer: Heather Willis, 618-357-2126, hdwillis@illinois.edu