University of Illinois Extension serving Champaign County is hosting Master Gardener training in January 2015. Since 1992, over 500 Champaign County residents have completed the program. University of Illinois Extension sponsors the Master Gardener program and trains adult volunteers to help disseminate up-to-date, research-based horticulture information to home gardeners. Master Gardeners are passionate people who embrace the state motto of “helping others learn to grow.”
Master Gardener trainees attend an all-day class once a week for eleven weeks. Each class covers a different garden-related topic such as botany, vegetables, fruits, plant diseases, and organic gardening. Training costs $175 which includes a Master Gardener manual developed by University of Illinois Extension educators and is specifically written for Illinois gardens.
The University of Illinois Extension office also offers online Master Gardener training. Online training costs $250.
Once training is completed, Master Gardener interns have two years to perform 60 volunteer hours in approved projects. Interns can work at educational community gardens in the county including the Idea Garden at the University of Illinois Arboretum, the Juvenile Detention Center garden, Crisis Nursery garden, and the Champaign County Nursing Home. Other projects include the Horticulture Hotline, a help desk used to answer home gardeners questions, and the annual Garden Walk held in June.
Visit the University of Illinois Extension website to apply for the Master Gardener program: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/. Applications are due by November 28th.
For more information please contact the Champaign County Extension office at 217-333-7672.
University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. University of Illinois*U.S. Dept. of Agriculture* Local Extension Councils Cooperating.