Piatt County Master Gardeners receive state awards

MONTICELLO, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension's State Master Gardener Program has named a Piatt County Master Gardener and a Piatt County Master Gardener Teamwork Project as state award winners. A virtual awards ceremony recognized the winners during the State Master Gardener Conference on September 10, 2021.

Kathleen Lattz was awarded a 2021 State Outstanding Master Gardener Award. The State Outstanding Master Gardener Award honors the best of Illinois Master Gardeners whose breadth and depth of involvement in the program is exemplary. Only 1 to 2 percent of active Master Gardeners in the state are recognized as exceptional examples to Master Gardeners within their respective programs and others in the state.

Kathleen has taken an active role with the Piatt County Master Gardeners since 2012. She has contributed over 500 hours to her community as a Piatt County Master Gardener Volunteer. She is an active leader in education, nature and gardening, and consistently looks for opportunities to increase her knowledge and share it with others through the Piatt County Master Gardener program.

The Monticello Area Community Garden project received the State Master Gardener Teamwork Award. The State Master Gardener Teamwork Award recognizes Master Gardener projects that are impactful, innovative, and replicable statewide. The team included Mark Bradley, Cheryl Evert, Charles Foran, Mary Hittmeier, Anna Kaczmarek, George Johnston, Chris Keller, Kathleen Lattz, Kent McFarland, Rosi McLeese, Judy Mitchell, Mare Payne, Kathleen Piatt, Mary Kay Randall, Mike Randall, Jane Smith, David White, Jane White, and Helen Wilding.

The Piatt County Master Gardeners' team provided dynamic leadership, education, and guidance to the Monticello Area Community Garden. The team is always trying to find new ways to promote gardening as well as educate and inspire the community to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers. In 2020, the Master Gardener team expanded the accessibility of fresh produce in our community through their partnerships with local food pantries and donated over 500 lbs of vegetables from the garden.

Illinois Extension Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by University of Illinois Extension educators and professionals. Master Gardeners volunteer time and expertise by sharing their horticulture knowledge with the community through garden projects and educational outreach. Find DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Extension Master Gardeners and Horticulture on Facebook

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

WRITERBeth Miglin, Horticulture Coordinator, University of Illinois Extension

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.