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Southern Illinois growers gain support with new horticulture educator

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension is excited to welcome Kimberly Rohling who will serve Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Randolph, and Williamson counties as a horticulture educator.

Rohling will coordinate, lead, and train volunteers in the local Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs. She will also manages three area food donation gardens which donate produce to area food pantries.

Before joining Extension, Rohling worked as a Conservation Worker at Cache River State Natural Area and Dixon Springs State Park for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. She worked as a Conservation Education Representative at the Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center for the IDNR. Rohling also served as a Land of Lincoln/Southern 7 AmeriCorps Member at Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge, assisting with bald cypress-tupelo swamp restoration, environmental education, and biological technician work. Rohling has also worked as a field technician or research assistant for noteworthy organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Great Basin Institute, Lake County Forest Preserve, Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Nevada-Reno, University of South Florida, and Eckerd College.

Rohling began her work with Extension in 2020 as a program coordinator in Alexander, Pulaski, Johnson, Union, and Massac counties. She has Master’s in Zoology from Southern Illinois University, where her research focused on the demography, home range, and macrohabitat selection of state-threatened ornate box turtles. While earning her Master’s, Rohling received the 2014 Florence M. and Charles L. Foote Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant in Zoology. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Oceanography and Environmental Studies from Eckerd College in 2008. 

Rohling is available to assist the community and answer questions on various horticulture-related topics, including home gardening, birdscaping, wildlife-friendly gardening, invasive species, and integrative pest management. Individuals may reach her at (618) 687-1727 or

University of Illinois Extension educators and specialists connect every county in Illinois with university research through in-person and distance-learning programming and other educational outreach. They work to provide businesses, families, and agricultural producers with the practical tools and resources needed to solve problems.

SOURCE: Kim Rohling, horticulture educator 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.