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Now accepting applications for Master Gardener training

Three peoples looking at flats of flowers in a garden center.

DANVILLE, Ill – Calling all green thumbs! Do you love gardening and are passionate about sharing your knowledge with others? Do you live in Ford, Iroquois, or Vermilion County? If so, we encourage you to join the University of Illinois Master Gardeners!

The Ford and Iroquois Counties and Vermilion County Extension Offices will offer Online Master Gardener Training Classes in January 2024. Registration is open from now until January 8, 2024. The class will cost $300 and includes all course materials, including a wonderful manual written by University of Illinois Educators. Need-based financial assistance is available, but applicants should apply early.

"The Master Gardeners program is a fantastic opportunity to nurture your passion for gardening while positively impacting your community.," says Master Gardener coordinator Jenney Hanrahan. "Through comprehensive training, hands-on experience, and collaborative projects, you'll expand your horticultural knowledge and contribute to beautifying our neighborhoods, fostering environmental awareness, and inspiring others to embrace the joys of gardening."

Online students enjoy self-paced training where they can take classes in any order once they have completed the introduction. Master Gardener training is designed to be viewed on a desktop, laptop, or tablet. A strong internet connection is highly recommended. The Master Gardener training program will provide in-depth horticultural education. As a Master Gardener, you will learn about a wide variety of gardening topics, including:

  • Plant Diseases
  • Insects
  • Annuals and Perennials
  • Trees and Shrubs
  • Fruits, Vegetables
  • Organic Gardening

Once you have completed the training, you will have the opportunity to volunteer your time and expertise in a variety of ways, such as working on community garden projects and perhaps even teaching gardening workshops to the public. In 2023, the Vermilion County Master Gardeners alone volunteered over 8,000 hours of service time and donated nearly 6,000 pounds of fresh produce to senior citizens and local food pantries.

Apply for the training online. Learn more about the Ford and Iroquois Master Gardeners or the Vermilion County Master Gardeners or contact Jenney Hanrahan at If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact our Vermilion County office at 217-442-8615 or our Ford-Iroquois office at 815-268-4051.

Photo Caption: Graduates of the 2023 Vermilion County Master Gardener class working on their teamwork project at Danville Gardens.

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. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.