University of Illinois Extension announces Emily Swihart as horticulture educator serving the Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties unit

(MILAN, Ill.) University of Illinois Extension is pleased to announce Emily Swihart as horticulture educator for the Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties unit. Formerly Program Manager for Trees Forever, Emily received her bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Iowa State University and her master’s in landscape architecture from Kansas State University. She brings eleven years of experience working for a non-profit organization, developing and delivering continuing education opportunities for volunteers, community leaders and professionals.

Emily specializes in urban forestry, native plant ecosystems, landscape design, conservation and natural resource enhancement and preservation, and fruit and vegetable production in the home landscape. Her enthusiasm for connecting people and plants will be evident in her engaging and encouraging programs that welcome people of all ages and experience levels.

County Director Jenny Garner said, “We are very pleased to have Emily on our team to share her love of horticulture and the environment with the community. She will do a great job developing engaging educational programs and sharing topical resources to “help others learn to grow,” as has been the long-standing tradition of Illinois Extension’s horticulture programs.”   Emily is filling the position vacated by Martha Smith who retired in July. She will be based in the Illinois Extension office located at 321 W 2nd Ave. Milan, Ill. Emily can be reached at (309) 7456-9978 or by email at