Bureau County Republican

University of Illinois Extension’s Master Gardeners to offer 2 online training courses

Self-paced and hybrid with live sessions will be offered in the fall

The Dively Garden which will be featured in the Master Gardeners' Garden Walk

For 46 years, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners have measured success by gardens planted, insects identified, produce harvested and the millions of hours volunteers have logged by helping others learn to grow.

This year, the master gardeners will offer two online training options including self-paced or hybrid with live sessions.

“Our online training is a great opportunity for folks who need more flexibility to participate,” State Master Gardener Specialist Candice Hart said. “Both options have self-paced components that can be completed at your own pace.”

Both training options may be taken from the comfort of home. Participants will be introduced to in-depth horticulture content through 13 modules including soils and fertilizers, plant diseases, entomology, pest management organic gardening and more.

The training includes videos, a manual, reading materials and quizzes. A strong internet connection is highly recommended. The Henry office has a computer lab available for those without internet.

After completing training, volunteers participate in educational programs in their communities.

Those opportunities may include speaking at garden clubs, civic groups, or schools; answering calls or emails at garden help desks; establishing demonstration gardens that serve as educational tools and educating citizens on how to establish community gardens.

The self-paced course starts Oct. 3 and can be completed in 14 weeks with about four to six hours of weekly work. The course costs $300 and registration is open until Sept. 13.

The hybrid course starts Sept. 13 and includes 12 weeks of hybrid online materials and live sessions on Tuesday mornings. The live sessions are attended in-person at the Henry Extension office. The cost of the course is $300 and registration is open until Sept. 1.

Both Master Gardener training programs are coordinated by Extension staff at the county level. Residents in Bureau, La Salle, Marshall or Putnam counties can contact Bettyann Harrison, Master Gardiner & Master Naturalist program coordinator, at 309-364-2356 or bettyann@illinois.edu.

For questions or information, call the University of Illinois Extension- Bureau, La Salle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 815-224-0889. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus.