Apply now for U of I Extension Master Gardener Training

Staff Report

University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Training will be held in Boone, Lee and Stephenson counties in 2014.  Interested people should apply now for the training. 

While the Master Gardener program is nationwide, Illinois started its first training in 1975 and now boasts more than 3,500 Master Gardeners statewide. Training is offered on a rotational basis throughout the state on a yearly basis. 

Training in 2014 is as follows:

Boone County — Wednesdays, Jan. 15-April 2 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Boone County Extension office in Belvidere, Ill.;

Lee County — Fridays, Jan. 17-April 4 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Ill.; and

Stephenson County — Tuesdays, Jan. 14-April 1 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill.

After the initial training, 60 hours of volunteer work are required over a two-year period. Once the 60 hours are completed, the volunteer becomes a certified Master Gardener. To maintain your active status, each year the volunteer must complete 30 hours of volunteer work and 10 hours of continuing education.

As volunteers, Master Gardeners make a difference in the community. Over the last year, the 22 active Master Gardeners in Ogle County contributed more than 1,500 volunteer hours answering homeowners’ gardening questions, teaching gardening lessons for children, planning and presenting at educational workshops, working with 4-H and local organizations.

Pre-registration is required to attend Master Gardener Training. An orientation interview will be conducted with participants in advance of the class. Registration for the training is $175.

For more information or to register, contact Lisa Valle, Extension program coordinator, at (815) 732-2191 or visit

From the Jan. 1-6, 2014, issue

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