Area Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists launch their 2018 program


University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists in Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam counties gathered at IVCC’s Oglesby campus on March 2 for a Unit-Wide 2018 Kickoff meeting. The next meeting will be held on April 28. (Photo contributed)

OGLESBY - On Friday, March 2, the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener and Master Naturalist Programs for Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam counties held a Unit-Wide 2018 kick off meeting on the campus of Illinois Valley Community College (IVCC) in Oglesby. The purpose of the March 2 kickoff meeting was to connect with Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists in our four counties and to discuss program goals and visions for 2018 and beyond.

The Master Gardener and Master Naturalist Programs support local communities by providing numerous volunteer hours through Extension-approved community service projects, as well as educational programs, services and events.

The mission of the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program is “Helping Others Learn to Grow.” Master Gardeners involve people in improving the quality of life by helping them find sound management practices for home and urban natural resources, by creating aesthetically pleasing environments, by promoting well-being through people-plant interactions and horticultural therapy, and by contributing to a safe, abundant food supply through home fruit and vegetable production.

The objectives of the Master Gardener program are to distribute horticultural information to individuals and groups in local communities, and to develop and enhance community programs related to horticulture.

The mission of the Master Naturalist Program is to provide science-based educational opportunities connecting people with nature, to assist people in becoming engaged environmental stewards by sharing natural resource information, and assisting with environmental conservation and restoration activities. The University of Illinois Extension partners with local agencies to accomplish both the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist missions and objectives.

If you are interested in learning more about the Master Gardener or Master Naturalist programs, how to become a Master Gardener or Master Naturalist, and about some of the things these volunteers do for our communities, visit the following websites:

Master Gardener: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/mg/default.cfm

Master Naturalist: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/mn/who.cfm

The next meeting for Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists will be held on Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to noon at the IVCC Oglesby Campus, Room CTC 125. For more information, please contact Meg Overocker, Extension Program Coordinator, at [email protected] or call the LaSalle County Extension Office in Ottawa at (815) 433-0707.

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